AMI Farm at Augusta Health
At Augusta Health, nutrition matters.
Augusta Health has partnered with Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) to develop demonstration gardens and a sustainable production farm utilizing organic practices on Augusta Health's campus. The purpose of the farm is threefold:
- to provide locally grown produce for use by Sodexo in our food system, to be served to our patients, employees and community visitors;
- to create a nutrition education hub for the community to teach sustainable agriculture practices; and
- to offer nutrient dense food solutions to community members with chronic disease diagnosis or low food access.
The AMI Farm at Augusta Health offers a production farm and community venue for healthy food and nutrition education. Collaborating with Allegheny Mountain Institute allows Augusta Health to continue to achieve its mission of promoting the well-being of our community through access to excellent care by providing access to nutrient dense foods.
Produce from the farm will be utilized in our patient meals, cafes and catering services. The AMI Farm at Augusta Health will empower our patients, employees and community visitors to make healthful food choices.
Nutrition Education programming at The AMI Farm at Augusta Health will raise community awareness about the importance of healthy eating and exemplify sustainable growing practices. In addition to programming that will bring awareness to the importance of a nutrient dense diet, the farm will include a demonstration garden where community members can learn more about sustainable agriculture through hands-on experiences.
Other initiatives around the farm will include a Food Farmacy program. Fruit and vegetable "prescriptions" will be given to patients who have been identified with a specific chronic disease diagnosis. The produce prescriptions will redeemable during group classes featuring nutrition education and cooking demonstrations.
To supply our food system and community programs with fresh, local produce, in 2018 Allegheny Mountain Institute will plant over 40 varieties of produce on 1.25 acres and expects to harvest 8,000 pounds of food.
Some of the crops that will be harvested throughout the year include lettuce carrots, onions, peppers, potatoes, swiss chard, tomatoes, broccoli, and squash.
In order to extend the growing season and increase production, Allegheny Mountain Institute will be installing deer fencing, a hoop house (similar to a greenhouse), high tunnels and irrigation system.
"This is a community collaboration and partnership," says Dan O'Connor, Vice President of Human Resources and Clinical Integration at Augusta Health, and the executive sponsor of Augusta Health's nutrition, physical activity and weight initiative. "We are uniquely situated with land on our hospital campus that can be used for this purpose, a team of physicians and other clinicians who support the initiative, and a partner with AMI's expertise that can bring this idea to life."
To find out more or become involved
Community Outreach, Augusta Health
kmoyers [at] augustahealth.com
Learn more about our partner in The AMI Farm at Augusta Health, Allegheny Mountain Institute!
This project is sponsored by the Community Partnership Committee of Augusta Health.