Metro Health Garden Program
Metro Health Garden
The newly expanded Metro Health Garden is approximately 4,000ft2 area of rich, productive soil, located east of the Hospital. The Metro Health Garden is managed by Metro Health’s Culinary Team and Master Gardeners.
The fresh fruits and vegetables that are produced in the garden are utilized in the Metro Café in patient and staff meals. After being harvested, the produce is weighed and recorded. This information is used to track yields and productivity, as well as food costs saved by producing food on campus. Over the 2014 growing season, the Metro Health Garden produced over 500lbs of tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, rainbow chard, sweet and hot peppers, and herbs.
In addition to providing ultra-local produce, the garden created educational opportunities for over 50 local youth. Twice a week, day campers from Spartan Stores YMCA joined us in the garden to learn about organic gardening and the benefits of producing your own fresh food. By engaging with them, the intention is to set an example for young kids that gardening is fun, and to encourage physical activity and healthy eating.
Improvements and changes to the Metro Garden 2015 include the use of all organic seeds and transplants to ensure that the produce is of peak flavor, nutritional value, and integrity. Permanent fencing is scheduled to be installed in Spring 2015, which will do double duty as vertical growing space for vining squash, cucumbers, zucchini and beans. The drip irrigation system will allow for efficient application of water, greatly reducing water waste.
Cooking classes, community presentations, and tours of the garden are open to the public and staff of Metro Health Hospital! Visit the Events Calendar or like us on Facebook for the most up-to-date information. If you are interested in volunteering time in the garden, please contact volunteer services.
The Community Garden is a partnership between Metro Heath Hospital, United Church Outreach Ministry (UCOM) and the City of Wyoming. It is an approximately 1,380ft2 area, divided into 11 raised garden beds. 10 of the beds measure 4×8’, and one bed is raised up on legs, positioned near the front gate of the garden, allowing access to fresh, healthy produce to mobility impaired gardeners.
The 3 entities involved worked to split the costs and resources to provide a community garden in a neighborhood where there is great need and limited access to healthy food. The City dedicated an area of Marquette Park in Wyoming, and was responsible for the installation of a water source within the confines of the garden. Metro Health provided the funds necessary to install fencing, as well as materials to build and fill the garden boxes. UCOM, with assistance from Metro, is responsible recruiting families from the surrounding community who frequent their food pantry to participate in the garden.
The intention of the Community Garden is to introduce fresh, organic produce into gardeners’ and their families’ diets. Over 150lbs of tomatoes, radishes, lettuces, broccoli, collard greens, kale, spinach, carrots and beets were donated to UCOM’s food pantry, with much more produced and shared between gardeners, friends and family. Monthly Gardener gatherings serve as a time for Q&A, educational demonstrations, and provide gardeners with the opportunity to share their produce with each other. The Community Garden in Marquette Park has proven to make a direct impact on the community surround Metro Health Hospital.