Friday, August 10, 2012

Hospital Farmer's Market? You Bet.

Today we stumbled on a (new to me) farmer's market within a Seattle hospital. That's right, hospital. It was small but quite busy with vendors selling fruits, veggies, bread, flowers, and fresh juices.

yummy fresh blueberries
Imagine what it would be like if all large institutions had fresh veggies for sale. Office buildings could corner off an area of the lobby for local urban and suburban farmers. Busy workers run down to "market" during lunch to grab ingredients for a quick salad or the evening's dinner- avoiding a trip to the grocery at the end of a long day.

When I worked for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife there were CSA shares we could subscribe to, and a small kitchen in the break room where we could prepare food. Lots of my co-workers got their weekly box of fresh local fruits and vegetables at work, and three different small organic farms had access to customers they might not otherwise connect with. Sounds to me like a win-win situation for the workers and the local economy. In addition, workers eating more vegetables mean healthy workers, and healthy workers mean less days of missed work-- a boon for any business.

fresh greens for sauteing or salad

Farmer's Markets are increasing in number all over the United States, but many people can't get to them because of scheduling conflicts. Bringing the food to the workers can begin to solve that problem. What hurdles do other businesses have to providing a weekly farmers market to workers? Space? Someone to organize? What would it look like if there were egg, cheese and meat producers also? If you want easy access to local food through your workplace, how can you make it happen?

flowers for your loved ones?

2 comments:

  1. This is such an awesome movement…makes so much sense! Portland's main teaching hospital, Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU), has had a weekly farmers' market onsite for several years, and until last year Kaiser Permanente sponsored one across from its Interstate campus.

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  2. I agree! I can't tell you how important I think it is for this to be happening. In addition, the same hospital's main cafeteria sources a lot of the food within the state. They have a giant state map on the wall to show where the different ingredients are from.

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