“We have the best dining service directors but not good farmers.” So says Bob Raymond, Vice President of Procurement and Dining Services for Commonwealth Senior Living. This simple but brief sentiment serves as a clear explanation for why Commonwealth Senior Living (CSL) contacted us at Babylon Micro-Farms. We installed hydroponic micro-farms in many of their dining halls across several states, providing them with simple, sustainable farming systems which yield fresh produce right in the facility. Commonwealth maintains that wellness is the number one concern in senior living, and we’re proud to be part of the team that’s empowering CSL to improve the quality of life for their residents every day.
For the administrators of the facility, our farming system’s ease of use enables them to enjoy success without the burdens of high maintenance or specialized training. The technology on our system’s app directs the user from start to finish, indicating exactly when to plant, transfer, and harvest. We even control the lighting and irrigation of the crops remotely, eliminating the uncertainty of the process and allowing Raymond to manage the system in facilities across four states. He notes, “We are completely in control, from seed to harvest.”
Raymond also praises the cost-effective nature of the micro-farm. With a subscription to support and materials, there is a fixed monthly cost for our system. There are never unexpected shortages due to recalls or waste, so CSL can rely on a consistent price from planting to harvest. The sustainability of the system offers further stability from a budget as well as from an operational standpoint.
For the residents and staff of Commonwealth Senior Living, micro-farming aligns with their focus on wellness and quality of life. Our sustainable system eliminates the need for produce deliveries, reducing CSL’s footprint by 20,000 gallons of fuel each year. While that’s great news, here at Babylon, we’re particularly happy to hear that the residents are excited about their on-site farm: they select the seeds and help plant, transfer, and harvest, enjoying physical and mental engagement in the process.
In addition, CSL tells us that consumption of vegetables at the facilities is up by 35%. It’s no secret that eating nutrient-rich greens lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease, and increases brain activity. What most people don’t know is that the crops from our on-site micro-farms are higher in nutrients than conventionally farmed produce; it also helps that residents can pick from over 45 varieties of greens.
Clearly, Commonwealth Senior Living is on the right track to long-term, sustainable wellness and quality of life, and the Babylon Micro-Farm system is an integral part of their operations. By bringing an engaging, enriching, and reward hydroponic farm system to their residents, they even won the 2020 Argentum Best of the Best Award – an opportunity that we’re bringing to other senior living facilities across the country.