Hospital rooftop farm and farmers' market expands

Market has invited more vendors to participate.

June 21—The famers' market and rooftop farm at Chicago Vanguard Weiss Memorial Hospital, has announced more opportunities for the community to embrace its healthy eating environment.

"We're feeding healthy food to the community we serve," said Terry Tuohy, director of volunteer services at Weiss and mastermind behind this growing project. Tuohy had hoped the efforts would make a social impact on the diverse neighborhood surrounding the hospital. "We started a conversation on healthy living two years ago by setting up the urban farm and farmer's market in Uptown. The community is now embracing it."

The Uptown Farmers Market and Urban Rooftop Farm at Weiss received the 2011 Governor's Home Town Award, which recognized the hospital for going above and beyond in making its community a better place to live.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources