High above the Boston Medical Center grows a bountiful organic vegetable garden that feeds patients, staff and the poor.
More than a 400 volunteers tend the garden, which includes kale, collard greens, bok choy, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, beans, squash and a wide variety of herbs. The crops are grown in organic soil in recycled milk crates and are pollinated by two onsite beehives that provide honey as well.
The 2500-square-foot farm also provides habitat for bees in an otherwise uninhabitable urban setting. The eco-farm insulates the building reducing cooling and heating costs and absorbs rainwater that would otherwise contribute to sewage overflow in the city streets below. But most of all, the rooftop garden provides nutritious food for those who need it most, between 5000 and 7000 pounds of it per year.
“Food is medicine. That’s why we’re doing what we’re doing,” says David Maffeo, the hospital’s senior director of support services. “Most people associate hospitals with terrible food, which is really interesting because right when we’re at our most vulnerable, in hospitals, you’d think that would mean we need nourishing food,” adds Lindsay Allen, the farm’s manager.
Source: Boston Medical Center