September 09, 2019

Oxbow Grows Greens Garden For Local Rescue Animals Awaiting Their Forever Homes

Greens For Good – Oxbow Grows Fresh Greens Garden for Local Rescue Rabbits & Guinea Pigs  

All pets are special, and rescue animals and their advocates have always had an extra special place in our hearts.  We believe that every animal deserves a safe and loving forever home.  From our beginning, we’ve looked for ways to support and give back to the rescue community that gives so much to support pets in search of their perfect forever home.

After last year’s long winter, spring was on our minds early.  As we began dreaming of green leaves and spring gardens, the idea came to us!  What if we planted a special fresh greens garden at Oxbow – just for rescue pets in need?!  As a company committed to premium nutrition for small pets, the idea was perfect!

Planning the Perfect Greens Garden for Pets  

Struck with inspiration, it was time to begin planning our garden.  We consulted Pinterest for inspiration, choosing a horseshoe-shaped raised bed garden that would allow our guests to “step inside” the garden while harvesting fresh nutritious greens. 

Our next step was to scout out our company grounds the perfect location for our garden.  We chose a section of green space out near our employee picnic area where the Oxbow team could enjoy the garden while relaxing on their lunch break.   

Team Building - Raised Bed Edition

When our maintenance team heard about our idea for the rescue garden, they jumped at the chance to team up to lend their essential carpentry skills to the project.  This skilled team dedicated an entire afternoon to transforming our plans into a beautiful raised bed garden structure – complete with serene pathway. 

Selecting & Starting the Seeds

Rabbits, guinea pigs, and other small animals love fresh greens, and these delicious plants provide essential vitamins and minerals and help with hydration. 

For our garden, we selected a variety of beautiful heirloom lettuces from the wonderful people at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  The species-appropriate varieties we chose included: Bronze Beauty, Tom Thumb, Garnet Rose, Marvel of the Four Seasons, Big Boston, and Flashy Butter Gem.  

Once the seeds arrived, a garden-loving member of the marketing team got to work starting the seeds indoors to give the plants a head start.  The lettuce seeds were planted in flats and placed under growing lights where they began their journey.      

From the Soil, Something Grows

Within a few days, the seedlings began to emerge!  Over the next several weeks, the lettuce plants grew quickly and were transplanted into larger pots in preparation for their big moment in the sun.  

Planting The Garden

At long last, the day had come to transform the dirt beds into a proper garden.  With trays full of lettuce seedlings in hand, the marketing team was eager to get their hands dirty and spent an afternoon transplanting the plants into the garden.  By the end of the day, the once bare garden was now home to several hundred new plants. 

Watching Our Garden Grow

Over the coming weeks, we excitedly watched our garden take root and grow.  When growing fresh greens for animals, it’s important to focus on natural methods.  With this in mind, we chose to grow our greens completely naturally, with no pesticides or fertilizers. 

Meanwhile, we got to work planning the perfect way to share our upcoming harvest with animals in need.  Several Oxbow team members have adopted animals from Town & Country Humane Society in Omaha, so we felt like this wonderful organization was the perfect fit.  After talking to small animal manager, Misty, we set a date for a very special field trip.        

Sampling The Garden With The Oxbow Animal Family

Eagerly awaiting the big day, we invited some Oxbow family pets to sample garden.  First up were rescue pigs, Beaver & Smore, and their mom, Dawn – Oxbow’s Sales Support Specialist. 

As you can see, the greens were a big hit with Beaver & Smore. 

Next, we invited adorable bunny, Joy, and her loving family, including Oxbow’s Vice President of Business Operations, Jeremy. 

Joy had a wonderful time safely exploring the garden while munching on some fresh greens. 

Fresh Greens Field Trip - The Big Day Finally Arrives!

Finally, it was time for the big day!  Members of Oxbow’s Marketing and Customer Care teams hosted some very special guests from Town & Country Humane Society.  Small animal manager, Misty, brought along three adorable and adoptable friends for a fun field trip:  Edna, Perky, Pepper!  Joining in the fun were Oxbow Customer Care Specialist, Dianne, her daughter, Violet, and their newly adopted pigs, Duffin and Hank. 

The guests had a wonderful time exploring the garden under the watchful supervision of their caretakers! 

An Additional Donation to Say “Thanks”

After enjoying fresh greens from the garden, we invited the guinea pigs inside Oxbow for an adoption photo shoot and to present a product donation on behalf of Oxbow.  The products included food, bedding, treats, enrichment items, recovery food, and hay.  In total, the donations filled up two full cars! 

Planning the Next Harvest

Our favorite part of our garden is that we will be able to continue producing fresh greens for more rescue friends in need!  We are already looking forward to growing and sharing our next crop of fresh greens with more local pets! 

To see more of Oxbow’s greens garden and to learn more about how Oxbow supports rescues, follow Oxbow on Facebook and Instagram.