Planting Vegetables for a Sustainable Future
Burt’s Bees has teamed up with NEEM (Natural Environmental Ecological Management) to bring some green to Durham, North Carolina.
Every year, we here at Burt’s Bees dedicate one day away from work to celebrate our culture. This year and in the past we have shut our doors and all of our NC employees, nearly 400 people, work to improve the local community with a volunteer service project. This year we’ve built three new urban gardens around downtown Durham with NEEM.
"NEEM is thrilled to partner with Burt’s Bees and these three urban gardens would not be coming to life without their support, especially the volunteerism of their entire NC workforce. I cannot imagine the resources it must take for a global company to completely shut down operations for one day," said Jeff Ensminger, Director of NEEM. "It will make a big difference in the future of these communities."
The project was inspired by the agricultural methods used by the Organoponicos of Cuba. 90% of the vegetables eaten in Havana, Cuba are grown right in the city, and both Burt’s Bees and NEEM envision a future for Durham where fresh produce is just as readily available as well as providing new jobs for the local citizens.
All of our excitement led us to create three separate gardens all linked by our mission to make people’s lives better, naturally.
Set on 1.5 acres, this unique urban garden features a mushroom house, beehive, and a fresh produce store. The site will promote employment by hiring within the direct community and through an established ex-offender program.
Urban Agroecological Research Station
Set on a 10 acre tract, the agro-forestry project features a greenhouse, nursery, and farm that will grow vegetables and specialty items to be sold at NEEM’s store and main headquarters.
Historic "Rolls Gardens"
A historic preservation of the old "Rolls Gardens" where Duke Chapel operates a community outreach house in Lakewood Park Community and NEEM’s main headquarters located in the 110 year old florist shop and greenhouse. Fred Rolls was the Duke family horticulturist and opened here in 1899 across from the then Lakewood Amusement park.