Agricultural Craftsmanship: The Creative Balance of Art and Nature

Zachary Harris The challenge of any artist is to take an original idea and transform it into an artistic reality. Dressing an empty plate, enlightening a plain piece of paper, molding a lump of clay, or composing music from the soul, there are many avenues toward the expression of creativity. But the opus that drives the passion of PreGel’s Landscape Facilities Maintenance Zachary Harris tends to be finicky, temperamental, wild, and beautiful all in one. Her entity is massive and she is the mother of all artistic resources. Though her mood routinely changes like the wind she blows, from bitterly cold to scorching hot, Zachary has an undeniable respect for Mother Nature, lending his agricultural talents toward preserving the splendor of the land’s surface appeal surrounding PreGel throughout the year.
Zack, as he is warmly addressed by his PreGel colleagues, has been tending the land of the specialty dessert ingredients facility since 2013. Being part of a long lineage of gardeners and farmers helped to develop the naturalist’s affinity for organic surroundings. “I’ve always enjoyed being in natural settings, as well as learning about the natural environment,” explains the reserved greenskeeper. “As corny as it sounds I love the sunshine on fresh cut green grass, watching things grow, change, and progress every year; and discovering new things like plants or animals I wasn’t aware of before. I also love when people appreciate the work I do, no matter how small, humble, and dirty it is. It’s all art,” Zack poetically clarifies.
Tasked with the normal responsibilities of cutting grass, maintaining and enriching the company’s overall landscape structure, keeping the grounds clean, and ensuring the environmental quality expected at a dessert ingredient processing facility, one would most likely form the impression that Zack’s day- to-day is pretty basic. However, the forward- thinking ways of an innovative company will reflect in the output of labor produced by its internal fabric. Therefore, Zack’s job description prescribes more untraditional tasks than that of the average landscaper. “I maintain a garden when I can, I’ve designed a Zen garden for Marco [PreGel’s President & CEO], and last year one of my unique tasks was to work on PreGel’s Sports Complex,” shares the land architect.
Singlehandedly (though with the help of some major industrial power tools) Zack painstakingly cleared a quarter-mile track, an outdoor volleyball court, and half-court soccer eld. “I like getting in the dirt, but I also like using my more creative and technical ability to design a space that meets peoples’ needs or a desired goal. It’s a good balance,” explains the zealous grounds designer.
But aside from building sports complexes and designing Zen gardens, Zack also keeps very busy during the colder seasons when many would assume there’s not much to be done for the keeper of PreGel’s outdoors.
“Even in winter there are landscaping needs. There are still good periods in cold months to fertilize and identify problem areas so they don’t get out of control in spring,” Zack begins. “There is a good bit of planning and research, looking at what did and didn’t work last year, and putting together a plan for the upcoming season. The usual grounds cleanup is still in need, as well as preparation for snow and ice storms,” the diligent groundsman continues. “I also do a little more inside the facility; tedious things like warehouse cleaning and re extinguisher checks,” Zack concludes regarding his thorough cold season recap.
Though he is a talented artist of agriculture, Zack’s creative skills cover a much wider range in a generous collection of different areas. The practitioner of Zen Buddhism is a visual artist primarily of oil pastel works, who also makes rock music by way of showcasing his instrumental skills via guitar, keyboard, and drums. But despite his bevy of other interests, Zack never strays far from his ties to the simple, yet rewarding complexity of nature.
indeed, Mother Nature can be described in many ways, albeit breathtaking, amazing, awe-inspiring, or just plain beautiful. But like many women, even Mother Nature requires the expertise of skilled hands to stay at her manicured best. Therefore, with two green thumbs and a passion for agriculture, Zack impressively maintains the balance of nature and art, consistently adding to the grandeur of PreGel America.