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This hospital built a farm on its roof

A farm on a roof? Yes! A farm on the roof of a hospital? Yes! The vegetables grown on the Boston Medical Center in Massachusetts go directly to their food bank and their food service for patients, visitors and staff.

The rooftop farm on the medical center is the second rooftop farm managed by Higher Ground Farm. Their first farm, located on the Boston Design Center in Boston's Seaport District, is an open-air farm growing in containers with 1 foot of soil depth. It started in July of 2013 with the help of a community of supporters including crowdfunding platform Kickstarter backers.

25 crops
The second farm is the one on the Boston Medical Center, where the first season ended last year with a total harvest of 5,000 pounds of vegetables. All the food from the 2,400 square foot farm goes directly to the BMC kitchens for patients, staff, and visitors, and to their on-site Preventive Food Pantry. The produce, including tomatoes, peppers, various greens, carrots, beets, herbs, eggplants, green beans, and cucumbers, is grown in 2,300 milk crates, covering a total of 2,600 square feet. In addition to reducing the hospital's carbon footprint, increasing green space, and reducing energy use, the farm also cuts the energy required to transport food and it is also part of BMC's commitment to going green.

"In addition to being a source of great, fresh food, the BMC farm is a learning space for those wanting to eat a healthier diet. On-farm tours, volunteer opportunities for employees, and programs through BMC's Demonstration Kitchen for patients exemplify BMC's mission to address and improve social determinants of health, like nutrition", the initiators explain. 

Publication date: 3/2/2018
Author: Arlette Sijmonsma



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