FISHBIO takes pride in promoting a green and sustainable company culture, one that we feel best reflects the nature of our work. When we completed our move to our current home office in Oakdale, CA, we decided to embrace this culture wholeheartedly with the addition of what would come to be known as FISHBIO Farms. Not only did this new location provide a vast increase in both office and shop space, it also included a substantial outdoor space that was ripe for creative uses. What began as a chicken coop and a few fruit trees to provide some additional ambiance evolved into a miniaturized farm filled with fresh goodies for our staff and visitors to enjoy.
In 2012, we began construction on a large coop to house our first flock of chickens. What was initially a small flock of six chicks has since ballooned to a group that when last tallied totaled over thirty hens. This group, composed primarily of a mix of Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons, has kept us well stocked with eggs throughout the years. Though we’ve whittled our livestock down to just this choice group of chickens, in 2013, we briefly experimented with turkeys as well. While the turkeys and their poults proved to be an entertaining distraction, one of the toms (another name for a male turkey) turned aggressive and the decision was made to remove them from the equation.
In terms of produce, the backyard garden features a veritable cornucopia of fruits and vegetables amongst the orchard area and planter beds. Over the years, the selection of produce available has skyrocketed and has grown to include choices from our Laos office as well. From plums and apricots to figs and dragon fruit, the varieties of domestic and exotic fruits seem endless as you tour the garden. The sheer volume of choices available becomes even more apparent when one peruses our plethora of pepper varieties. All of these ingredients are integral to the wide variety of jams, jellies, hot sauces, and other treats that make it into our client gift baskets at the end of the year.
Our most recent addition to FISHBIO Farms has most certainly created a buzz. Earlier this spring, we recently added a honey bee hive to our ever expanding garden. The custom built hive acquired from Superior Bee Supply houses roughly 2,000 bees, creating our very own platoon of personal pollinators. With its top bar construction making it much easier to pull the combs and retrieve some fresh honey, we have to admit this hive is truly the bee’s knees. Our resident apiarist even went so far as to purchase our own beekeeping suit in an effort to take some of the sting out of the job.
Our little farm, in a way, helps us stay connected with the rural, agrarian communities that span the Central Valley and San Joaquin Basin that we call home. Several members of our Oakdale office even have a background in agriculture, spending years in 4-H and FFA, or are even growers themselves. FISHBIO Farms gives us a way to get out from behind our desks and take a bit of a breather from the daily grind. The garden has come a long way in the few years since we first moved in, and will no doubt continue to evolve.