A hospital’s mission is supposed to be focused on good health and yet so often hospital cafeterias are filled with sugary beverages and greasy fried food. But in Colorado, Castle Rock Adventist Hospital (part of Centura Health) is setting a different example by growing some of their own food for their hospital restaurant. Landtech Contractors, Inc., recently assisted in the building of this community garden that not only harvests food for the hospital but also has the mission of creating a place where community members can grow and harvest their own nutritious foods for home.
“It’s not often that we have the opportunity to give back in such an exciting way,” says Kevin Overley, vice president of Landtech. “We donated both time and money to make this project a success for both the hospital and the community it serves.”
The community garden has 104 separate plots, a demonstration pavilion (where cooking demonstrations are given), a playground, and a half-acre restaurant garden. The biggest challenge was the fact that water restrictions required no overhead watering. “Every garden plot had to be drip irrigated, with timed watering schedules appropriate to individual needs,” Overley says. “It was critical that we keep all of the water consistent even though the garden was broken into individual plots. Some members grew different vegetables and others grew flowers, but we had to keep it consistent and also conserve as much as we could. All of this was done during a drought year.”
It was also done during a year of weather extremes. The Colorado weather went from drought, to late snowfall, to historic level flooding. Overley says that the extreme weather added to the challenges associated with the project, but in the end it not only came together, but it came together on time. That was a feat in itself considering they were only given one month to complete it.
“This community garden is unlike any other in the state and we were excited to be a part of it,” Overley says. “Hospitals aim to be healing but this hospital is being proactive about staying healthy in the first place. We think that’s a great idea and were proud to contribute.”