New England offers first hospital rooftop farm

Three stories above BMC’s power plant thrives a 2,400 square foot farm with more than 25 crops. The farm not only provides fresh, local produce to our hospitalized patients, cafeterias, The Teaching Kitchen, and Preventive Food Pantry, but is also part of BMC’s commitment to going green. In addition to reducing the hospital’s carbon footprint, increasing green space, and reducing energy use, the farm also cuts the energy required to transport food.

The brainchild of Dave Maffeo senior director of support services and Robert Biggio, senior vice president of facilities and support services, with the support of BMC’s Office of Development, the rooftop farm project was a year and a half in the making. Dave worked with Lindsay Allen and John Stoddard of Higher Ground Farm to find a rooftop and growing system that would work best for BMC’s needs. The farm was designed and installed by Somerville-based, Recover Green Roofs, and Higher Ground Farm is managing the growing. Allen, who is serving as BMC’s first farm manager, also completed a light study of the roof to determine the feasibility of growing crops in the space.

The power plant fauna is not alone though. Listen closely and hear the distinct buzz from the farm’s resident bees. Two brightly colored urban beehives, painted by BMC’s pediatric patients, will help the produce pollinate while also providing local honey.

As the BMC rooftop farm’s inaugural growing season comes to an end, take a look at how this incredible project got underway and the tremendous success of its first year.


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