Eric Henry and Tom Sineath with one of the newest additions to TS Designs
(From Eric Henry, TS Designs president)
I have been talking about getting chickens at TS Designs for over a year, well on April 5th we got 7 of them. Why chickens at a company that prints t-shirts? A couple of things I have learned on journey to be a more sustainable company, there is no clear path to get there and you have to be the one to take the lead if you want to see positive change. We started growing veggies at TS Designs a couple of years ago to give our employees access to local, healthy food, inexpensively. One of the negatives you hear about the local, organic food movement, is that it is only for the higher income folks. We think company gardens can help fill that gap by giving employees access to this food. We are able to take advantage of the space that most companies plant grass on and spend the summer mowing. I have found that chickens can be a key to successful gardening and a very cheap source of protein, via eggs, for our employees.
Chickens give back to the soil what the plants take out. We have created a chicken area inside the garden area. We picked a couple of rows that we are not planning to plant in the next 6-12 weeks and use a solar powered electric fence to keep the chickens out of the rest of the garden. While the chickens are in these rows they scratch and peck out bugs and worms, which aerates the soil along with depositing some great fertilizer. I am excited about testing out using our organic cotton scraps as the nesting material. We just redesigned the compost pile that is set right outside of the garden. I am hoping the chicken manure will help break down the cotton scraps faster, which will come back into the garden as great compost. So next time you are in the area to buy some of our great t-shirts walk around the corner of our building and introduce yourself to our 7 latest TS employees.