Annual garden competition spices up Convention Center

0 Comments 📅September 13th, 2013, 14:47

2013-08-16_09-45-29_887It’s harvest time at the Knoxville Convention Center! As part of our farm-to-table culinary initiative, this was the second year we have hosted a fun internal competition amongst our staff to see who can grow the best herb garden on site at the center.

This is our second staff garden competition, and six teams participated this year. Each team was given a plot of soil in one of the large planters outside our facility in the Cumberland Avenue turnaround. Each team was assigned two herbs to cultivate, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, marjoram and others. The herbs will ultimately be used in dishes throughout the year by SAVOR, the Knoxville Convention Center’s in-house catering team.

This year, our staff members’ competitiveness really showed in the creativity and the productivity of their gardens. Though the competition was tight, the team “Never Enough Thyme” was selected as the overall winner by an objective panel of three outside judges. As you can probably divine from its clever name, the team chose thyme as their primary herb and team captain Rebecca Williams, director of sales, brought fertilizer from her farm to give the garden an extra boost.

We also named winners in several subcategories. The team “Never Enough Thyme” was awarded top prize for most creative team name, for best design and decor and for producing the most herbs. The “Bedwetters” won for creating the most economical garden. Honorable mentions were “Weed ’Em and Reap,” “Blooming Gals,” “Herb Dynasty” and “The Juleps.”

2013-08-16_09-45-45_765Regardless of awards and top honors, each of our teams had a great time working together, and our guests will see the benefit through fresh, delicious tasting dishes year-round!

Our farm-to-table initiative is just one of the many ways that we support a sustainable center. Our entire staff has contributed to our green initiatives since we embarked on making green retrofits to the center in 2003. This past year, the Knoxville Convention Center staff’s hard work paid off when we were awarded LEED Silver Certification for Existing Buildings in recognition of our commitment to operating a green facility. Our LEED certification has been a team effort many years in the making, and through activities like the gardening competition, we will continue to make sustainability rewarding and fun for the entire staff.

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