Henry Ford West Bloomfield's Greenhouse Feeds Patients

Henry Ford West Bloomfield is embracing the local-food movement


Published:

We all know what people say about meals in hospitals and on airplanes. Of course, airline “meals” are now pretty much reduced to pretzels. Hospitals, however, may be following a different trajectory in food service by embracing an emerging trend seemingly inspired by the local-food movement.

Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital now has an on-site farmer working in a new 1,500-square-foot greenhouse where she cultivates organic produce for patient dining. Resident farmer Michelle Lutz, formerly co-owner of the certified-organic Maple Creek Farm in Yale, Mich., says she’ll grow tomatoes, eggplants, sweet peppers, okra, tomatillos, kale, Swiss chard, zucchini, beans, Chinese cabbage, strawberries, peas, arugula, spinach, herbs, and various types of lettuce. That harvest supplements the hospital’s produce purchases.

The greenhouse grows plants hydroponically (in water) to enhance harvest diversity and maximize space. In addition to feeding patients, produce from the $1-million complex (funded entirely by an anonymous donor) is used in the hospital’s 90-seat demonstration kitchen, where healthy-cooking classes are offered to the community.

Other greenhouse uses include gardening therapy for patients in recovery and tutorials on preventing or managing chronic diseases through healthful growing and eating practices.

“Food has an impact on human health and on environmental health,” Lutz says. “This is only the beginning.”

Tours of the greenhouse are available daily, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., with in-depth visits and workshops by appointment; henryfordwestbloomfield.com/greenhouse.
Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

The Fair-est of Them All

Armada’s annual get-together boasts traditions unchanged for a century and a half

Vital Signs

Ann Arbor’s The Ark remains an intimate haven for favorite folk acts — and a launching pad for emerging careers

The Way It Was

The Way It Was

Living the Dream

What's it like to work on the Detroit Tigers grounds crew? (And how do you land the job?)
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. City of Riesling celebrates ‘best white wine on Earth’
    With the ubiquity of “value” brands like Kim Crawford, it’s become a no brainer for the...
  2. Reds turn to gold at 2015 Michigan Wine Competition
    Consumers can sample award-winning wines at Aug. 20 Gold Medal Reception
  3. Royal Oak Brewery to Mark 20th Anniversary
    Two decades of craft beer to be celebrated with one big tent party
  4. The Inaugural Cider Dayze Festival
    Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill brings together Michigan brewers, cideries, and wineries.
  5. Grizzly Peak to Host Oktoberfest Block Party
    Special anniversary ale will be on tap to help Ann Arbor brewery celebrate its 20th Anniversary