(photo credit: myfoxdetroit.com)
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (MyFox Detroit) –
Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital’s new greenhouse will provide food for visitors and patients year round. It’s expected to reduce the hospital’s food cost by more than $20,000 a year.
The $1 million, 1500 square foot facility is state of the art and uses hydroponics. Plants are grown in water instead of soil to produce healthy foods such as lettuce and greens, tomatoes, eggplant and beans.
An anonymous donor funded the green project.
“We want to be able to showcase how food could be grown in a really healthy environment without the use of any toxic chemicals, and then how you can use that food and prepare that food to avoid chronic diseases,” said resident farmer Michelle Lutz.
The greenhouse is also for the community. It will serve as an educational site with workshops and tours for people of all ages.
“I really hope to see every day school buses from all around Southeast Michigan so that we can really help our children… in a fun manner start to think differently how they will take care of themselves through food,” said Gerard van Grinsven, president and CEO of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital.
He says the greenhouse fits perfectly into his vision to create a community center for well being.
The garden will provide therapy for patients and employees and serve as a teaching tool to inspire people to make healthier choices.
“This is being used as a prototype to show what we can do in the future,” Lutz said.
It’s an idea that could definitely grow. There is talk of a greenhouse one day in downtown Detroit and producing food for the entire Henry Ford system.