Returning to Our Roots On April 14, 2010 a horse drawn-plow broke ground on the first four acres of The Farm at St. Joe’s. Volunteers have since constructed three 30’x 96’ hoophouses, allowing for crops to be grown year-round for sale at the hospital’s Farmers’ Market, as ingredients for Joe’s Deli, and seasonal inclusion in patient meals. The Farm has expanded to include perennial plantings, a community garden and alfalfa fields. Altogether the Farm has converted almost 25 acres of lawn into arable farmland.
The Farmers’ Market Produce from The Farm at St. Joe’s and other local farms is sold at the weekly market held in the hospital lobby. Left over produce from the market is donated to Food Gatherers weekly. Market hours are every Wednesday from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Keep up with The Farm at St. Joe’s at stjoefarm.wordpress.com.
Eisenhower Center Partner The Farm at St. Joe’s collaborates closely with the Eisenhower Center, a local service provider for traumatic brain injury clients. Together we have designed and built the first clinical accessible hoophouse to provide opportunities for rehabilitative therapy. In the fall of 2012 Nifty Hoops and a volunteer crew built the hoophouse; over the next winter the Eisenhower Center worked with the Farm to design and build accessible flooring, growing trays and beds, along with a water feature and space for relaxation. Visiting clients care for and harvest vegetables, flowers and herbs. The Eisenhower Center brings goods to our weekly farmers’ market.
Local Honey Project Partner The Farm at St. Joe's has an active partnership with The Ypsilanti Food Co-op and their Local Honey Project. The project seeks to provide honey to the Ypsilanti Food Co-op, while training a volunteer corps of beekeepers. Local honey has several health benefits, one of which is allergy relief. Local beekeeper Lisa Bashert manages bees at the Ypsi Food Co-op, Growing Hope, and The Farm at St. Joe's.
Farmer Dan Project Manager Dan Bair received his bachelors degree from the University of Michigan and has completed the Organic Farming certificate Program at Michigan State. He has spent time as a volunteer at urban farms and gardens in Detroit. He was also an assistant Project Manager for the Chicago Botanic Garden Green Youth Farm, teaching high school students on Chicago’s west side about urban farming.
The Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge Saint Joseph Mercy Health System signed the Healthy Food in Health Care pledge committing to the goal of providing local, nutritious, and sustainable food. We are committed to improving the health of our community by modeling good nutrition and influencing how food is produced and distributed. Through our purchasing decisions, we can promote health by providing our patients, staff and visitors more fresh, great tasting, nutritious food. By shortening the distance between the farm and the plate, we hope to lead by example and serve the freshest food available.
Powered by Volunteers The Farm at St. Joe’s is run by Project Manager Dan Bair with the help of dedicated volunteers. Volunteers assist with the farmer’s market, planting, weeding and harvesting the crops grown at The Farm.