Techies don't approach broccoli, radish raising as farmers do

Corporate culture has met agriculture at Intel, and the broccoli is amazing.

Employees at the DuPont offices have turned a rocky lot next to the streamlined building into a geek Eden of raised beds, compost heaps and generosity.

They are surprising food banks in Pierce and Thurston counties with deliveries of lettuce, spinach, peas, broccoli and bok choy in a season when many home gardeners are just getting their recently waterlogged soil going.

These techies do not approach gardening the way mere mortals might.

They've got next to no experience. They don't trust luck. They work as teams and research strategies.

Apparently, they're on to something. In late June they harvested 70 pounds of radishes from a 5-by-6-foot section of a raised bed. Now the peas they planted with the radishes are ready to snap.

"A lot of what takes place here is very experimental," Stu Vannerson said. "It's the engineer geek in us."

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