We’re happy to share brand new pilot project case studies from four graduate student PAR on-site food growing projects! Each is available in html and print [pdf] form.
Students were enriched and tested by their experiences—and each was instrumental in advancing a pilot project with one of our institutional partners: the GreenWerks Garden at Lakehead Psychiatric Hospital (Lauren Turner); the Food School Farm at Centre Wellington District High School (Tim O’Brien); the Victorian Kitchen Gardens at Homewood Health Centre (Emily French); and the Our Farm Project at KW Habilitation (Elena Christy).
This year’s pilot at Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital’s Therapeutic Garden is in full swing, with a weekly market and an Open House held August 7. Further news to come!
… from Civil Eats, July 21, 2015
This summer, St. Luke’s Hospital started sending all new moms home from the hospital with a basket of fresh produce, recipes and literature about the importance of a healthy diet. Continue reading Are Hospital Farms the Next Big Thing in Healthcare Reform?
Seaway News, July 15, 2015
When it comes to providing better food choices, it seems Winchester District Memorial Hospital is the picture of good health. WDMH became the second hospital in eastern Ontario to reach the bronze level in the regional ‘Healthy Foods in Champlain Hospitals’ initiative. The initiative aims to reduce unhealthy food and beverage choices in the hospital’s cafeteria, vending machines and gift shop. Read more…
Daily Observer, May 14, 2015
The Pembroke Regional Hospital (PRH) has voluntarily signed on as one of fifteen participating hospitals in the Healthy Foods in Champlain Hospitals program and is well on its way to completing the program’s first level of requirements and achieving a Bronze designation.
The Healthy Foods initiative was developed to create a supportive, healthy food environment for patients, visitors, staff, physicians and volunteers by providing better food options in hospital retail settings. Read more…
Inside Ottawa Valley, March 19, 2015
Arnprior Regional Hospital (ARH) has become the first of 15 hospitals participating in the Champlain Healthy Foods in Hospitals program to reach the Bronze designation – a full year ahead of the target date. “Congratulations to the team at Arnprior Regional Health for its commitment to improving the health of our community,” said Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc in a news release. “I am extremely proud that hospitals in our region are modeling healthy eating to the thousands of patients, visitors, staff, physicians, and volunteers they serve. The Healthy Foods in Hospitals initiative will go a long way to helping a very large number of people stay healthy and avoid disease and the Champlain LHIN is pleased to support its implementation.”
The Healthy Foods initiative is about creating a supportive, healthy food environment for staff, physicians, visitors, patients and volunteers. Read more…
…from ABC News… A Story of Two Hospitals
St. Joseph’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan, hosts a farmers market every Wednesday in its main lobby featuring produce gown on the hospital’s 25-acre farm. The land used for the farm was a hospital lawn until 2010 when a horse-drawn plow broke ground on the first 4 acres. The farm, now known as “The Farm at St. Joe’s,” has since expanded to include three large “hoop houses,” greenhouse-like structures that provide seasonal produce for the market — as well as patient meals, the hospital’s cafeteria and local food banks — all year long.
Across the country in Long Island, New York, Stony Brook Medicine has also embraced the idea of “farm to bedside.” Iman Marghoob, a registered dietician and horticultural specialist in charge of the hospital’s 4,000-square-foot rooftop garden, said the project is just as important for educating staff, patients and students as it is for providing seasonal vegetables and herbs.
Growing Food at Health Care Facilities
Development In Gardening (DIG) empowers communities to develop sustainable community gardens improving the nutrition and quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS, orphans, pregnant women and other vulnerable populations in Africa.
Acknowledged as an international leader in HIV/AIDS treatment and research as well as maternal and child health care, cervical cancer, malaria and tuberculosis treatment and research, the Center for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) remains rooted in approaching global health concerns on the community level first.
After being approached by leaders of their international team, DIG began to effectively address the nutritional and drug compliance needs of their HIV positive patients. Four gardens were established at designated clinics in and around Kafue, Zambia with a specific focus on HIV positive mothers. Additionally, over 25 home gardens have been developed and will hopefully continually expand to reach more households.
Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital
On-site food production will increase this year at the Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital in Alexandria, with the intent of testing and improving the therapeutic benefits of participation in food production, while increasing access to healthy, local, seasonal food for staff and patients. This project will build from an existing garden project, with the intent of adding SPIn production in the near future, relying on the techniques and design of Jean-Martin Fortier, as laid out in The Market Gardener; A Successful Growers’ Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming.
Project SOIL is looking for a motivated Master’s or senior-level student to participate in and fully document the development of this pilot project over the course of 400-520 hours, between May 1 and August 31.
The student will work 30 hours per week. Start / completion dates are flexible, as are days per week. Pay rate dependent upon experience. The student will be expected to participate in the production on-site, as well as planning for future on-site SPIn production. The student will produce a complete case study which will be part of a joint academic publication. This position will require a successful police check.
For more details of the site and Hospital, contact:
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator & Project Management
Hôpital Glengarry Memorial Hospital
20260 County Road 43/ Chemin de comté 43
Å: (613) 525-2222 ext 4112
Story by Philip Rouchotas, MSc, ND
Photography By Christine Kufske
… While a major goal of Project SOIL is to determine the feasibility
of large- scale food production in public institutions, the benefits of gardening —well known to every garden enthusiast— go far beyond the simple calculation of kilos of produce harvested. The impacts of garden projects are far-reaching: it is difficult to describe the level of gratitude and satisfaction that derives from consuming a product you yourself grew. Gardens bring people and communities together, and impart a deep knowledge and respect for nature to every participant. The therapeutic impact of spending time in greenspace and working with plants —a topic recently reviewed in this journal—is supported by an impressive body of science…
Download the print version [with additional photos]…
Rouchotas, P. (Dec 2014) “Project Soil – Food Production at Health Care Institutions”. Integrated Healthcare Practitioners, 38-43. Available at: http://ihpmagazine.com/project-soil-food-production-at-health-care-institutions/
Project SOIL is a feasibility study that explores the potential of on-site food production for public institutions through arrangements with local producers, particularly where access to farmland is limited and expensive. By encouraging and facilitating these partnerships, we aim to test the potential for growing mutually beneficial relationships, while increasing the production and consumption of fresh food.
With funding from the New Directions program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, we have started five pilot initiatives, producing food on-site at health care, social service and educational institutions. There is significant interest in the project, and many institutions across the province are contemplating or starting their own food production pilots. However, the pathway from pilot to viable core program can seem lengthy and fraught with challenges. To support these initiatives, and provide useful examples from which to learn, we have produced four in-depth case studies of existing models that have achieved significant annual production:
- FoodShare’s School Grown Market Gardens, with 2014 sales of over $17,000 from two high school sites;
- The Community Harvest food growing project at the Black Family Farm, where the Ottawa Food Bank’s staff farmer produced over 70,000 lbs. of vegetables in 2014;
- McGill Feeding McGill, where the foodservice department spends $45,000 per year on produce grown on a University owned-and-operated 25 acre farm, and;
- the Kingston Prison Farms, which included the largest urban farm in Canada (900 acres), and which housed beef, dairy, egg, fruit and vegetable production operations and an abattoir serving the local region.
These case studies represent food production models that developed over years, and required time, resources and commitment to achieve significant scale. In each case study, we document the history, resources, partnerships and lessons that enabled each to grow and prosper in their own way.