EcoTrack 11: Fresh vegetables in a hospital cafeteria?

Flower Hospital Chef Denny Seibert
Flower Hospital Chef Denny Seibert
Reported by Tara Hastings - bio | email

Posted by Nick Dutton - email

SYLVANIA, OH (WTOL) - Every morning Flower Hospital Chef Denny Seibert heads into the garden and grabs a hand full of lettuce to take to the kitchen.

"When the lettuce is in its awesome because our people that come through the cafe love it, fresh beans are nice too. It's a bonus for us," says Seibert.

These fresh herbs and vegetables supplement the hospitals cafeteria food supply. They come from a garden on hospital grounds, but there's a twist and some height. A vertical garden uses a tiny space by growing up.

"The nicest part about a vertical system is what would typically take 8 acres of land can be done in one acre and that is what this size is able to do," says the Center for Innovative Food Technology's Rebecca Singer.

The plants are potted in Styrofoam pots, in each of the four corners, making for easy picking and no weeding. Towers of four pots, each holding four plants adds up to twenty two hundred green beans, peppers, tomatoes, basil plants.

Marigolds are used at the top because they're a natural insect replant. Tubes filled with water soak the entire column, making the fresh vegetables a big success.

"If we could be successful here we think it would be a great way to put up these kinds of garden settings where people don't have access to fruits and vegetables that way we can have an impact on their diets," says Stephanie Cihon of ProMedica Health System.

An impact Chef Denny Siebert picks each day.