Boston Hospital feeds patients on vegetables grown on its own roof farm
The Boston Medical Center has set up an urban farm on its roof. And start growing fresh organic vegetables for the needs of its patients and the local community.
The Boston Hospital’s farm produces over 7,000 pounds of vegetables each year. More than half of which is distributed to unsafe and low-income patients. The rest of the vegetables grown are used for hospital restaurant purposes. For the preparation of patient food and for cooking and food production courses.
Boston Medical Center is one of the “greenest” medical facilities in the United States that grows food on its roofs
This Boston hospital’s urban farm is the first rooftop farm in the US state of Massachusetts and is also the largest rooftop farm in its capital. It covers an area of 250 square meters. And organically grows 25 different vegetable gardens in milk crates filled with soil. “Food is medicine. That’s why we’re growing it on our roof, “says David Maffeo of the hospital administration. “Urban farms are still scarce and it is difficult to get locally grown food in cities. Therefore, we grow vegetables on our roof because we are convinced that we owe it to our patients and the local community. ”
Lindsay Allen manages this green oasis on the hospital roof from the very beginning. And says that the products of this farm are used in prevention as well as in the treatment of patients. Allen believes that as many as 72 percents of hospital patients are unhealthy. And lack access to healthy, locally grown organic foods. “The food we consume has a direct connection to our health”. Says Lindsay Allen, adding that hospitals have a responsibility to feed their patients better and better quality foods. “In general, I find hospital food pretty bad. Which is not good because patients deserve quality food”. In addition to running the farm, Allen also organizes health food and proper nutrition workshops. And educates patients, hospital employees and their families about food cultivation.
Boston Hospital also employs a number of nutritionists
Boston Hospital also employs a number of nutritionists who teach patients how best to prepare meals with farm produce that they share for free. So not only does Boston Hospital distribute food to patients for free, but it also provides them with expert advice on healthy eating.
Carrie Golden of Boston, one of the hospital’s patients, believes the only reason she doesn’t have diabetes is that she has access to fresh, locally grown food. A few years after she was diagnosed with diabetes, she was referred to Boston Medical Center, where she received expert advice on healthy eating in addition to farm vegetables. “You become diabetic because when you don’t eat healthy foods you eat everything you can to survive,” said Carrie Golden. “Because of the healthy food I get at the hospital, I learned what was the right diet.”
Carrie Golden has been using vegetables grown on the hospital roof for the past three years. And says her experience has changed her mindset about food. “There have been times when I have had nothing to eat for days. So I can appreciate the efforts of a Boston hospital that gives me the nutrition I need to stay healthy,” Golden says.