More of this, please!
“About three years ago, Homestead Hospital in Miami set aside 10 acres of unused land adjacent to its site on Campbell Drive and Southwest 147th Avenue. Every year the hospital grows thousands of pounds of produce and serves it up to its patients,” the Miami Herald reports.
* “Why do we do this? There’s tons of data that says if you eat more fruits and vegetables you are less likely to get sick, regardless of the ailment,” said Squire, who works as the garden’s manager for the hospital, which is an extension of Baptist Health Systems.”
* “Dubbed Grow2Heal, the garden is in its start-up phase and operating on about a quarter of an acre. It gathers about 10 student volunteers a month from local high schools and colleges and puts together about 2,500 meals during harvest peak times, typically November through May.”
* “We anticipate that when the garden is farmed out on all 10 acres, we’d be able to serve approximately 100,000 meals a year,” said Jennifer Pages, a spokeswoman for Homestead Hospital.”
* “The parcel of land has produced dozens of fruit and vegetable varieties including radishes, bananas, red oak lettuce, cucumbers, collard greens, Swiss chard, squash, watermelon, black-eyed peas, kidney beans and green beans. Squire also grows herbs such as lemongrass, rosemary, French sorrel and oregano. In season this month? Tropical fruit, mostly mangoes.”
* “The hospital spends $150,000 a year to operate the farm, Squire said. “It’s not an immediate cost saver for our cafeteria. That’s not the mission, even when we do end up operating on the full 10 acres. The savings is quantified by better quality products and giving our community access to them.”