Berrysmith Foundation

Organic Greenhouse Opens in Michigan Hospital

The greenhouse, which is powered by solar, wind and geothermal, runs tours, cooking classes in the adjoining education centre and gardening lessons in an attempt to educate visitors about the healing powers of food. Patients are also offered therapy in the form of yoga and relaxation courses in the greenhouse. “Our goal is to be a national model for how wellness education can improve health and reduce health care costs by providing people with resources to help them achieve optimal health,” says Gerard van Grinsven, president and CEO of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.

Michelle Lutz, the resident farmer at the hospital, has more than 16 years experience behind her and is co-owner of an organic farm in Yale, Michigan. The garden is growing a huge range of food including tomatoes, eggplants, strawberries, herbs and cucumbers.

The greenhouse opened in September 2012 and plans include school field trips focusing on reducing childhood obesity and chronic diseases for improved future health. The one million dollar complex, which was funded by an anonymous donor, is estimated to create savings of $20,000 US a year.

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