The Farm at St. Joe’s Hospital: Healthcare Is Happening Here!

By on July 24th, 2013 Categories: Day-to-Day Matters

Kale in a hospital? Yes!

Vegetable gardening from a wheelchair, at a hospital? Yes!

Once in a while, something comes along that I just HAVE to share with everyone I know, every way I can.

Such is the case with this short documentary that gives the history and the purpose of The Farm at St. Joe’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Yes, I am interviewed for this documentary (I serve on the Farm’s Advisory Committee) but it is not at all about me, not at all. The Farm at St. Joe’s is all about healing patients and creating healthy communities and has won a major award from the Catholic Healthcare Association for this groundbreaking (literally and figuratively) work.

Please note that one of their hoop houses is completely accessible for anyone with disabilities. In addition, there is so much opportunity for food and nutrition education, from field to fork, from farm to plate, from seed to stomach, however you want to phrase the process of what I like to say, “We are what we grow!”

I can see so many ways that cancer centers could be integrating their patients into a clinic or hospital-based farm, or even small vegetable gardens. Why do cancer centers sometimes help patients who need food assistance with cans of liquid nutrients? Why not let them take home vegetables they have helped to grow or simply give them organically grown and delicious kale instead? Or collards? Or carrots? Or purple potatoes? Or garlic? Or … the list is endless!

Lastly, one of my favorite gardening quotations is one I have used before on this blog and my others:

Life begins the day one plants a garden.

~ Chinese Proverb

Please feel free to share this short documentary widely. Who knows when life will begin again for someone who has the opportunity to work in a Cancer Victory Garden? Who knows how far the ideas, the happiness, the health, and healing at The Farm will spread? Maybe even to your hospital or cancer center! 🙂 I hope so!

This post borrowed with permission from Diana’s blog Cancer Victory Gardens.

Diana is a wife, mom, organic farmer, Registered Dietitian, and author of the book A Dietitian's Cancer Story. In between all that and more, she is a multiple-time cancer survivor. Diana's website,, focuses on nutrition information for cancer survivors. She began her blog,, to share a wider scope of thoughts about life as a cancer survivor, food and nutrition, gardening, recipes, our environment, and the urgent need for developing food systems that promote health not disease, ecological sustainability, and social justice. Photo credit: Dick Dyer


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