My name is Emma Lafferty and last summer, in late June, with an extreme temperature rising to 104 degrees, I was involved in building the third hoop house structure at St. Joe’s Farm. As a Mercy student, I have grown to learn about the strong connection between the Sisters of Mercy, especially Catherine McAuley, and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. Catherine McAuley dedicated her life to providing service to those in need. McAuley started a union of women whom she trained to assist the needy, providing them the necessities which included medical assistance. They later were named the Sisters of Mercy. Being a Mercy girl, I feel a strong connection to the Sisters of Mercy. I am proud and grateful to have contributed to the structural build of the farm because it improves the health of the patients as well as the entire community. I followed the progress of the accessible hoop house throughout the year and was thrilled to learn of the CHA achievement award.
I have now returned to the hoop house this summer, one year after I helped construct it. I was amazed to see the details of the third hoop house. I was taken back by the beauty of the plants, fairy houses, and waterfall. I was most impressed with the healilng environment as Lisa McDowell walked me through the third hoop house. I learned this hoop house is dedicated as a clinical rehab hoop house where patients who are in wheelchairs can access the plantings and can enjoy the bright colors and growth before them. I started to think about the meaningful setting St. Joe’s provides for healing. They differ from other hospitals’ treatment simply because of the type of food they provide. St. Joe’s carries out the message of wellness and they strive to nurture and educate people who need to be healed. There are so many positives that have come out of this incredible 20 acre farm. I will continue to contribute my time and energy to The Farm at St Joes because I have clearly witnessed the difference one person can make by becoming a part of a larger vision.