Empty Spaces make for Sustainable Places

Empty Spaces make for Sustainable Places

Blog by David Coram, Director of Food & Nutrition Services, Sodexo, Baptist Medical Center, Jacksonville, Florida
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Empty Spaces make for #Sustainable Places. #Sodexo helps plant roof top gardens at hospital. http://3bl.me/cpa768 @sodexoUSA
Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - 4:15pm


Is a roof just a roof, or a space to “grow?” Sometimes you may not consider an empty space as a place that bears fruit, but maybe you just need a little imagination and creativity. Wolfson Children’s Hospital, in Jacksonville Florida joined up with my group at Sodexo to plant gardens in spaces around the hospital including its third floor patio and the medical center’s roof. 

The garden idea first sprouted during a pediatric food conference, Working with my team at Sodexo, we decided a garden on the patio above the hospital's main lobby would serve a lot of purposes, especially for long-term pediatric patients.

It gives the kids the opportunity to get outside, out of the rooms and get their hands a little dirty. After all, they are kids – and being in a hospital room sometimes doesn't allow for that.

The fun part is that we plan on using what we are able to grow in the garden, right here at the hospital. In the weather and sunshine cooperate, fresh herbs will be ready for kitchen use in 45 days, and the vegetables soon after. The best part is that the children who help cultivate and grow the produce will also be able to watch it prepared in the kitchen, and eventually eat it!

Our garden’s idea and it’s creation may be a small addition, but it fits in with Sodexo’s Better Tomorrow Plan, which is a commitment to a brighter, sustainable future. The program pushes three main pillars including protecting and restoring our environment, supporting local community development, and promoting health and wellness. It may be small, but I believe my team in Jacksonville has hit the “Better Tomorrow” trifecta with our roof garden!