Skip to main content

Send us a Topic or Tip

Have a suggestion for the blog? Perhaps a topic you'd like us to write about? If so, we'd love to hear from you! Fancy yourself a writer and have a tech tip, handy computer trick, or "how to" to share? Let us know what you'd like to contribute!

Thanks for reaching out!

From the Ground Up: Making Every Day Earth Day

(Solar panels on the roof of headquarters with the on-site turbine pictured in the distance.)

It was a chilly and cloudy morning in late November when I pulled into the parking lot to interview for an Internal Communications Specialist role- a position that would surely combine all of my most favorite things about marketing. Prior to applying for the job, I had done a bit of research on  the company and what struck me the most was the amount of environmental initiatives that the company had implemented.

I had never worked for a company that generated all of its energy production for the entire year with a wind turbine. Moreover,’s on-site Vestas V39-500 Kw wind turbine at the Woodstock campus generates 815,000kW per year annually, producing a surplus of energy for the LEED Platinum certified facility. The excess energy is then put back out onto the power grid for the local community to make use of. When I learned about the sustainability projects that was a part of, I knew it was a company where I could lay down my roots. It’s a company that affords creative people an opportunity to grow professionally all the while being amongst individuals that also have some sort of environmentally conscious state-of-mind.

This Earth Day, employees are especially thankful to founder Larry O’Connor for his efforts in creating a sustainable work environment.

Related: Rejuvenate, Reuse, Recycle: Earth Day-Friendly Solutions for an Aging Mac

(Peppers from Johnson MicroFarm.)

Speaking of roots – my husband Josh and I own a sustainable market garden farm in Woodstock, Ill. Initially, in late November 2012, the decision was made to purchase the home and land with the future hope of creating a self-sustaining homestead.  Our plan was to grow all of our own produce while also raising some of our own animals as humanely and organically as possible. Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton, some of the founding fathers in the permaculture design space influenced much of the work on our farm in the beginning days. From fruit trees planted aside comfrey to raspberry’s intensively planted near companion crops.

Over the next few years, friends and family started buying excess vegetables, fruit, and eggs from our farm. Then, a light bulb went off, and my husband and I felt compelled to open our farm doors to the community via farmers markets. In 2016, the response Johnson MicroFarm received from the community was overwhelming and proved to us that there was a need for locally grown and organic produce from two thirty-somethings trying to make a go of it, farming on a small-scale. 2017 is ramping up to be one of our biggest years yet – we are buckling down on our offerings and increased this production space by about 1500 square feet. If you’re local, you can find our heirloom, organically grown, produce at the McHenry Farmers Market on Thursdays and Huntley Farmers market on Saturdays.

While Johnson MicroFarm was making strides in 2016 for its farm, OWC was also making big plans in the way of a company-supported garden production: Life Renewable Oasis or LRO for short. The initiative behind the garden is to support employees and the Woodstock food pantry with bountiful harvests throughout the season. This April, the team plans to clear away a plot of land at the Woodstock site for the garden space. The plan is start off on a smaller scale and build up over the years and continue to grow more of the items that the food banks need. This year, the core focus of the garden will be potatoes, tomatoes, squash, herbs, kale and swiss chard. The team will also do a smaller test group of beans, beets, eggplant, leeks, onions, peas and peppers.

Wayne Read, Marketing Manager at commented, “Sustainability has so many facets that the company successfully embraces, and the new ‘LRO’ garden will be yet another way we exhibit our commitment and the importance of being good corporate citizens.”

For more on’s environmental initiatives, visit:

Be Sociable, Share This Post!

Leave a Reply