Visit the Boston Medical Center website.
March 4, 2019 3:22 Boston Medical Center Rooftop Farm – Featured Project video from Greenroofs.com on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube.
October 9, 2018 3:32 BMC Bees on the Rooftop Farm by Boston Medical Center; August 21, 2018 5:49 Rooftop Farm Container Planting – Our Favorite Vegetables by Boston Medical Center; July 17, 2018 1:58 Virtual Tour: BMC Rooftop Farm by Boston Medical Center; June 26, 2018 1:25 Boston Medical Center’s rooftop farm providing fresh produce to patients, community by Kerri Corrado of BOSTON (WHDH); June 22, 2018 12:04 Container Gardening: Herb and Vegetable Gardening in a Small Outdoor Space by Boston Medical Center; June 7, 2018 1:00 Rooftop Farm: BeeMC Honey harvest! by Boston Medical Center; November 16, 2017 2:35 The Rooftop Farm at Boston Medical Center by Boston Medical Center.
July 20, 2017 John Stoddard and Lindsay Allen of Higher Ground Farm on the Journey from Idealism to Practicality on a Rooftop Farm by Farmer to Farmer; A rooftop garden at a Medical Center? by Boston Med Talks.
March 4, 2019 Featured Project: Boston Medical Center Rooftop Farm by Linda S. Velazquez on Greenroofs.com; July 13, 2018 Hospital Farming For Better Health on living on earth; July 13, 2017 Boston Medical Center Grows First Hospital-Based Rooftop Farm in Massachusetts BMC Press Release; October 21, 2017 Not a fan of hospital food? Hospitals are working to change that by growing their own produce by Sarah Toy of USA TODAY; October 17, 2017 A Farm in the Sky by Rich Barlow in BU Today; August 8, 2017 Urban oasis high atop a hospital Power Plant BMC Press Release.
Boston Medical Center (BMC) is a non-profit 567-bed academic medical center in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the largest safety-net hospital and Level I trauma center in New England, and BMC is the principal teaching hospital of Boston University School of Medicine.
A rooftop farm was a natural fit for Boston Medical Center, a hospital with both a steadfast commitment to a green campus and an integrative approach to health. Located three stories up on the lower roof of BMC’s power plant building, the Boston Medical Center Rooftop Farm is the first farm on a hospital in Boston. With a total roof area of 7,000 square feet, the rooftop farm has 2,658 square feet of growing space.
The Boston Medical Center Rooftop Farm harvests approximately 25 different crops, absorbs stormwater and reduces the building’s carbon footprint at the same time as it provides thousands of pounds of fresh, healthy produce for patients and the hospital’s Preventative Food Pantry and other programs. A sign advertises BMC’s daily farm offerings on a sign outside the cafeteria entrance.
The farm, which was a year and a half in the making, began as the brainchild of Dave Maffeo, senior director of support services and Robert Biggio, senior vice president of facilities and support services, with the support of BMC’s Office of Development. Dave worked with Lindsay Allen, now Manager of the BMC Rooftop Farm, and John Stoddard of Higher Ground Farm to find a rooftop and growing system that met BMC’s needs. The farm was designed and installed by Somerville-based Recover Green Roofs, and Higher Ground Farm is managing the growing.
Recover designed the farm to provide maximum growth potential for the size and scale of the roof and installed the system on Earth Day 2017. The BMC Rooftop Farm “Recover Aerated Media Module (RAMM): system is a modular raised-bed system featuring a series of 5-gallon non-woven fabric-lined crates made of 50% recycled plastic content. The system, though seemingly simple, ensures optimal drainage and aeration, as well as healthy root development and vibrant plant growth. Both design and materials allow for incredible flexibility as each planter unit can be moved in a modular fashion with ease. Additionally (and most critically), the crates can withstand wind uplift pressures even at dry weight, as each RAMM is secured to adjacent units. Each individual modular crate is complete with organic Vermont Compost media, remote-monitored smart drip irrigation, and durable roof membrane protection.
The Boston Medical Center Rooftop Farm grows a wide variety of organic vegetables and herbs and houses two beehives painted by youth patients at the hospital. The resident bees pollinate 75% of the food on the farm.
“Our honey bees provide an essential pollination service to Boston Medical Center’s rooftop farm. They will travel up to one mile to collect pollen which fertilizes our farm’s vegetables and herbs. During peak season, there are 80,000-100,000 bees in each of BMC’s two bee hives.” ~ BMC video
In its second growing season, the farm grew 5,000 – 7,000 pounds of fresh produce on less than 3,000 cubic feet of growing space. And, the rooftop farm can be seen from the upper floors of BMC’s Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center.
Becker’s Hospital Review has named BMC one of the 50 greenest hospitals in America; and the Boston Medical Center Rooftop Farm received awards from Practice Greenhealth in 2018: the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award, the highest honor Practice Greenhealth bestows on hospitals; Practice Greenhealth in 2017: the Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award; 2017 Greening the OR Recognition Award; and 2017 Circle of Excellence award in the energy category.
The Boston Medical Center Rooftop Farm not only provides fresh, local produce to its hospitalized patients, cafeterias, The Teaching Kitchen, and Preventive Food Pantry, but is also part of BMC’s commitment to going green. And, the rooftop farm offers many wonderful opportunities for educating patients and events for volunteers and children of the community.