The Farm at St. Joe’s has garlic scapes for the first time this summer! Garlic scapes are the flower stalks of garlic plants. Think asparagus texture with a mild garlic flavor. They are great sauteed, in soups, with eggs and fish.
I was in Anaheim, CA last week with Rob Casalou to receive CHA’s Achievement Citation award. In addition to a cash award, CHA made a short film about the farm. It is the highest award that CHA gives to a program associated with a Catholic healthcare organization. We are honored to receive this award considering all of the other amazing programs nominated in 2013, and to see the other programs that have won over the years.
Each year, CHA’s Achievement Citation recognizes an outstanding program or service that exemplifies the ministry’s commitment to carry on Jesus’ mission of compassion and healing. The Achievement Citation is given to a CHA-member organization that is the creator and lead sponsor or partner in an original, bold, innovative program that delivers measurable results for the community served. The recipient program is selected because it inspires the sponsoring organization, the people it serves and the broader community and beyond. The program is available for replication within CHA’s membership.
Please join us in the main hospital lobby today from 11-1. Green Things Farm will have the spring vegetables you need. They grow amazing produce and The Farm at St. Joe’s proud to be partnering with Ann Arbor based Green Things Farm this year.
By Caroline Robb
Howdy! My name is Caroline Robb, the Farm’s new intern for the spring season. Unlike most of the wonderful dietetic interns that have graced the Farm in seasons past, I am a student of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems hailing from the University of New Hampshire. Originally from Ann Arbor, I am overjoyed to return for the late spring season to be a part of the amazing sustainable effort that is the Farm at St. Joes!
In the past couple of days, as promised, we have been planting. Yesterday, about forty raspberry plants went in adjacent to the beautiful staff plots that will be fruiting next year. Kale, broccoli and cauliflower have all found a new home in our educational garden to-be. Our plants are all loving on a hearty dose of compost and really looking forward to some rain!
Like the majority of students entering their senior year of college, I haven’t exactly pinpointed what I want to do. However, knowing that my future is destined to be focused on the importance of food in health makes this experience the perfect gateway for me to explore my interests in holistic and preventative medicine, nutrition, and the necessary movement of our culture towards a more mindful balance between human interaction with the environment.
The Farm at St. Joes alone is a great testament to the importance of health care centers as exemplary institutions for healthy living. From the farmer’s market to staff plots to seeds for sale in the hospital lobby, sustainability in food and more mindful eating is creeping into the culture here. As I join the Farm team with a background in food service and sustainable agriculture, one of my goals is to reduce the environmental impact of the food system at St. Joe’s by assessing the viability of establishing a composting program. Considerations for this large scale program will include hauling waste off-site versus composting on-site, education for kitchen staff as well as hospital visitors and staff, and the potential spectrum of its implementation (biodegradable coffee cups, anyone?). Hopefully, a composting program will further educate our healthcare community about the importance of recycling food waste and reducing our impact as vital components of a more healthy and sustainable community.
Stay tuned for news updates about when farmers market will be back in early June. We are happy that Green Things Farm will be joining us this season at farmers market.
We are planting, planting, planting here at The Farm at St. Joe’s. This morning Ms. Krasko’s Skyline High School class helped me plant tomatoes in hoophouse 2. They also did quite a bit of weeding outside in the garlic beds. This farm would not function without the wonderful volunteers and interns we have. Email email@example.com if your interested in getting involved as a volunteer, one time or ongoing.
Here are some pictures of some of the planting that has been happening this spring.
Bright and early on a Monday morning the members of the Washtenaw Food Hub meet over a delicious breakfast of locally raised eggs and vegetables to talk about the very food they are eating. The members of the Food Hub, like the Farm at St. Joe’s, are focused on how to make farming part of community life again. With a focus on building sustainable farms determined to bring access to fresh foods to the community, these farms are living their mission to change the way we as a society think about food. My experience working at the Farm has really shown me how important community farms are to live the message of health and what an impact everyone in the community, from community leaders like St. Joe’s to small volunteers such as myself, have on the food industry.
Currently, I am an undergrad at the University of Michigan hoping to eventually become a dietitian. When I first came to the Farm I was surprised to see how interactive the hospital, community volunteers, and local markets were in the entire food process. My hand in the process was to help plant tomatoes and get the hoop houses ready for the summer crop. I have to admit that after coming back only a few days later, I am quite attached to my baby tomato plants! (and the tractor, which to the surprise of Farmer Dan I had no problem starting up by myself – maybe just a bit too eagerly). It is so interesting for me to think about how satisfying it is to know that I have helped start something that will eventually help the community feed their families.
As someone who is interested in health and its link to food, I cannot help but wonder why it has taken me this long to really work with the raw materials of nutrition. We are all so disconnected from the food process that it seems like farming has become somewhat of a novel past time, but perhaps that is part of the problem that our society faces when it comes to poor nutrition. From my short time at the Farm, I can say that I have an admiration for the work that the hospital has put into bringing people in the community closer to the food they eat. In the future, I hope that I can look more into local sustainable farming as a basis for good nutrition and a better community life.
Stop by to meet our new farmers market partners, Jill and Nate from Green Things Farm, this Wednesday, May 8 from 11-1. You can find some tasty spring greens, scallions, lettuce, herbs, and maybe a few other tasty vegetable treats.
We’ll also have a limited supply of fresh cut tulips and The Farm at St. Joe’s t-shirts for sale. See you tomorrow from 11-1 in the main hospital lobby.