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

Glowing Reviews

Journey through holiday nights at Greenfield Village

Support System

Common Ground’s Tony Rothschild reflects on 25 years of helping people move from crisis to hope

The Way It Was

2014 Top Docs: Transforming Medicine

The list containing the winners of our 15th annual Top Docs survey and accompanying medical stories.

The Way It Was - The David Whitney Building

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Winter wine-derland
    Winery visits can be just as good — if not better — in the off season
  2. Reviving a Classic
    Change of 220 Merrill’s ownership has re-energized one of Birmingham’s longtime favorite...
  3. Girl's Best Friend
    All that glitters isn’t necessarily gold — and diamonds aren’t the only way to add an extra...
  4. Artfully Plated
    One-upping the standard pop-up dinner in one of Detroit’s hidden architectural gems
  5. Brewery Profile - Tapistry Brewing Company
    Since opening in July of 2013, Tapistry Brewing has spent the last year perfecting their recipes...
  6. Upper Crust
    Grosse Pointe Park’s Cornwall Bakery is (finally) open, producing European breads, croissants,...
  7. Winter Wonderland
    More than 5 million LEDs transform a Detroit Zoo stroll into a wild experience
  8. Cold Winter, Hot Sauce
    Locally made condiments bring on the firepower
  9. Polishing a Greasy Spoon
    Rock City Eatery chef/owner elevates burgers and hot dogs at second Hamtramck restaurant, Campau...
  10. Conversation Starter
    Writer-director Mike Binder hopes his new custody battle film Black or White spurs...