Cultivating Wellness with Sainte-Justine Hospital

Founded in 2016, MicroHabitat is an industry-leading urban agriculture business committed to transforming urban spaces into productive and sustainable farms. With a mission to reconnect people with nature, we currently manage over 170 urban farms in Canada and the United States. Our expertise spans urban agriculture techniques, project management, sustainable practices, education, and customer service, catering to diverse sectors.

MicroHabitat collaborates with public institutions, offering customized urban farming solutions. Urban farms are strategically set up in unused spaces, providing easy installation on rooftops or the ground.

Our recent project at Ste-Justine Children Hospital in Montreal showcases the productivity of our urban farming techniques, yielding an impressive 300 pounds of fresh produce. The harvested bounty remains in-house, enriching the hospital cafeteria with nutritious offerings.

Patient Engagement & Workshops

In conjunction with the project, we conducted two workshops focusing on garden maintenance and harvesting, led by our experienced urban farmer. Notably, a unit of patients with eating disorders actively participated in the harvest alongside our farmer. The project sparked positive enthusiasm among both patients and hospital staff.

Engaging patients in urban farming workshops provides a unique avenue for fostering a healthier relationship with food. The hands-on experience of planting, nurturing, and harvesting creates a tangible connection to the food production process, promoting a sense of control and empowerment. The therapeutic benefits of gardening, combined with the joy of contributing to their own food supply, contribute to a more positive and mindful approach to eating. Overall, these workshops offer a holistic opportunity for patients to reshape their relationship with food in a supportive and educational environment.

Observing the success of this initiative, the prospect of regular workshops over the next few years is promising. This experience underscores the potential therapeutic benefits of urban farming in a hospital setting.

Advantages of Urban Farming for Public Institutions

Urban farming initiatives in public institutions offer a myriad of benefits that extend beyond mere productivity. These projects serve as valuable educational spaces, providing hands-on learning experiences for students and patients alike, fostering awareness of sustainability, agriculture, and nutrition. Furthermore, the cultivation of fresh produce within the institutional setting contributes to improved nutrition and reduced food costs for school cafeterias or hospital kitchens. In healthcare environments, rooftop gardens associated with urban farming projects offer patients a therapeutic and calming space for recovery and healing.

Additionally, such initiatives underscore the institution’s commitment to sustainability, showcasing environmentally responsible practices that enhance its overall reputation. Beyond the pragmatic advantages, a well-maintained urban farm can significantly enhance the institution’s aesthetic appeal, creating a more pleasant atmosphere for all. Lastly, involving employees or students in the process of urban farming activities fosters engagement, boosts morale, and cultivates a sense of ownership, ultimately contributing to a more connected and vibrant institutional community.

MicroHabitat’s collaboration with Ste-Justine Hospital illustrates the transformative power of urban farming. Beyond productivity, the project has positively impacted patients, staff, and the hospital’s environment. As we look to the future, the potential for ongoing workshops and the continued integration of sustainable practices promise a flourishing partnership.

Explore more about MicroHabitat’s urban farming projects and discover how our tailored solutions can benefit your institution. Contact us for collaborative opportunities and join us in cultivating wellness through sustainable urban agriculture.