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Hospital installs hydroponic farm in cafeteria

Diners at Lynchburg General Hospital’s cafeteria can now enjoy local lettuce from the salad bar.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Lynchburg General Hospital in Lynchburg, Va., has installed a hydroponic farm in its cafeteria to provide fresh leafy greens year-round, The News and Advance reports

The hospital harvested and served its first batch of lettuce from the farm in December, and it was met with positive reviews from diners. Cafeteria staff have also begun making cards to display on the salad bar to identify which lettuce was grown in the hospital, because the farm can’t produce enough lettuce to supplement the entire operation. 

The farm costs around $600 a month. The hospital’s foodservice director and executive chefs say that once they begin routinely harvesting produce, the farm will pay for itself by offsetting the cost of buying lettuce from outside the hospital. 

The healthcare system is looking to install an additional farm at the hospital as well as one at its cancer center. 

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