On April 14, 2010 a horse-drawn plow broke ground on the first four acres of The Farm at St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. Volunteers constructed the first 30’x 96’ hoop house in April and the second hoop house will be added in September. The hoop houses allow crops to grow year-round and sold at the hospital’s weekly Farmers’ Market.
The Farmers’ Market
The first Farmers’ Market at St. Joe’s was held July 14. The market sold out in 20 minutes! Along with produce from The Farm at St. Joe’s, produce from other local farms is also sold at the market held in the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital lobby in Ann Arbor, Mich. Left over produce from the market is donated to Food Gatherers.
Local Honey Project Partner
The Farm at St. Joe’s has an active partnership with The Ypsilanti Food Co-op and their Local Honey Project. The project seeks to provide honey to the Ypsilanti Food Co-op, while training a volunteer corps of beekeepers. Local honey has several health benefits, one of which is allergy relief. Local beekeeper Lisa Bashert manages bees at the Ypsi Food Co-op, Growing Hope, and The Farm at St. Joe’s.
The Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System signed the Healthy Food in Health Care pledge committing to providing local, nutritious, and sustainable food. We are committed to improving the health of our community by modeling good nutrition and influencing how food is produced and distributed. Through our purchasing decisions, we can promote health by providing our patients, staff and visitors more fresh, great tasting, nutritious food. By shortening the distance between the farm and the plate, we hope to lead by example and serve the freshest food available.