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USA: Organic food for hospital patients

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

St. Luke’s Anderson Campus, in partnership with Rodale Institute, is one of the few hospitals in the USA to offer patients produce grown at an organic farm located on the hospital campus. The collaboration with the Rodale Institute to develop an organic, working farm onsite will allow St. Luke’s to continue providing patients with a holistic experience that creates a positive atmosphere for health and healing, Ed Nawrocki, the President of St. Luke’s Anderson Campus explains. The farm at St. Luke’s will help raise community awareness about the importance of healthy eating and the impact of food choices, according to mutual information from the two partners.

Rodale Institute has developed a five acre (about two hectares) tract into a produce farm on the 500 acre St. Luke’s Anderson Campus. St. Luke’s Rodale Institute Organic Farm will offer organically grown local produce that will be distributed to all six St. Luke’s  hospitals to be used in daily food preparation by Sodexo for patients, and it will be offered in the hospital cafeterias for staff and visitors. As part of the partnership, Rodale Institute has provided St. Luke’s University Health Network with the onsite organic vegetable farmer Lynn Trizna (see picture). Lynn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Through volunteering, interning, and apprenticing on various farms, Lynn has gained the knowledge and experience needed to manage various farm projects. She now ensures the quality of the farm’s produce, follows organic farming practices and coordinates the produce deliveries with Sodexo for the St. Luke’s hospitals. Lynn Trizna is also responsible for transitioning the land to organic and overseeing the organic certification process with the USDA.

Planting at the St. Luke’s Rodale Institute Organic Farm began this spring. Crops have already been harvested. The 1120 square foot (over100 m²). hoop house will provide an extended growing season. The farm is equipped with refrigeration to store excess produce before it is transported to other locations. Some of the produce that will be planted at the farm includes lettuce and salad greens, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, Swiss chard, kale, garlic, cabbage, beets, potatoes and a wide variety of herbs. During the first year, Rodale Institute expects to produce approximately 44,000 pounds (about 20,000 kg) of fresh produce. In the future, the farm is expected to double in size and is expected to produce nearly 100,000 pounds of produce. Coach Mark Smallwood, Executive Director of Rodale Institute, says that this partnership presents a ‘farm to hospital’ model which can be replicated around the world. They are proud to be proving concepts once thought impossible. More information about the St. Luke’s Rodale Institute Farm is available from here.



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