Friday, July 10, 2009
A garden may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Hennepin County Medical Center, but the busy downtown Level One Trauma Center is now home for a rooftop organic garden for patients, visitors, and staff.
In 2009, the medical center received funds from the city of Minneapolis Climate Change Grant to create its rooftop organic garden.
"The main purpose was to provide the freshest ingredients possible for our recipes. We also hope to set an example and encourage HCMC staff and even visitors to consider planting similar gardens at home," said Food Service Operations Manager Lisa Nadeau.
Hennepin is growing a variety of culinary herbs including cilantro, Thai and Genovese basil, thyme, oregano, chives, curly and flat leaf parsley and others. An addition to the garden is traditional Hmong herbs used in the traditional Hmong post partum meal.
"In traditional Hmong belief, in the month following giving birth, a mother is supposed to eat steamed white rice and chicken soup with special herbs added to help the body regain its strength and produce ample supply of breast milk for the newborn baby," explains Lor Lee, Diversity Consultant at Hennepin.
The Hmong herbs that are part of the herb garden include, "Suv Ntsim," a thin, long green herb, "Kaws taw os liab," an herb with leaves that resemble duck feet, "Nkaj Lia," an herb red in color, "Ntiv," an herb with sharp corner leaves, basil, lemon Thai basil, red cinnamon basil, and mint.