High above Albany Street on Boston Medical Center's campus resides a 2,400 square-foot rooftop farm, which is home to more than 25 crops. The Rooftop Farm is part of the Nourishing our Community program, which, alongside the Food Pantry and Teaching Kitchen, promotes healthy eating and living for a population that is mostly urban and on the go. All three programs work hand-in-hand to ensure patients and their families have access to healthy nutritious foods, sourced sustainably and responsibly.
Harvests from the Rooftop Farm—including colorful fruits, vegetables and herbs—provide fresh, local produce to BMC's hospitalized patients, cafeterias, Teaching Kitchen and Food Pantry. The fauna is not alone, though. Listen closely and hear the distinct buzz from the farm's resident bees. Two brightly-colored urban beehives, painted by BMC's pediatric patients, help the produce pollinate while also providing local honey. In total, more than 10,000 pounds of fresh produce are harvested each year, making a positive impact on patients' health and lives—a true hallmark of BMC's mission.
The Rooftop Farm also benefits the environment. Recycled plastics were used to construct the garden and its design decreases storm water runoff while reducing urban heat. These key features make meaningful contributions to BMC's commitment to going green by reducing the hospital's carbon footprint, increasing green space and reducing energy use.