Fresh greens are on display in a whole new way at several Asbury communities, as we roll out micro-farming at Bethany Village, Normandie Ridge, and coming soon … Asbury Solomons!
Produced by Richmond, Va.-based Babylon, the hydroponic Micro-Farms™ use custom seed mixes to grow a wide range of greens and herbs for use by community chefs. Today, residents and associates can see these large, glass-front cases near John & Annie’s Bistro and Clyde’s Pub at Bethany Village and by the Patriot Café at Normandie Ridge.
“Over the past six years, Asbury has significantly reduced its energy and water use through a partnership with Sodexo, and many Asbury residents have started their own initiatives around recycling, helping the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and supporting wildlife,” says Todd Andrews, President of Asbury’s Continuing Care Retirement Communities Division. “We are excited for this new opportunity through Babylon to help the earth – and enhance the dining experience.”
Babylon notes that the produce grown using a Micro-Farm™ supports environmental sustainability in the following ways:
- requires just 15 square feet of space compared to 2,000 square feet of farmland
- uses 88.4% less water
- 4% less fertilizer
- 87% less single-use plastic packaging
- 99% less transportation
- 76% less food waste
At each community, wellness staff will work to engage residents of our assisted living and skilled nursing neighborhoods with the Micro-Farms™. Babylon’s innovative technology system enables its own staff to remotely control the light, water, and nutrients for its farming systems.
Barbara Bankard is member of the Bethany Village Ecology Committee who calls this “a win-win.” Since moving to Bethany Village, Barbara has advocated for more locally-sourced, organic produce on the menu.
While residents can grow their own produce in Bethany’s community gardens or drive to a farmer’s market, not everyone is able to do that, Barbara notes. “Now, people who eat at the Bistro have year-round access to fresh, organic herbs and greens. I love technology!”
“Watching a garden grow is life-affirming and exciting, even more so when you get to enjoy the fruits of your labors and watch others benefitting from healthy, sustainable produce,” says Alexander Olesen, CEO of Babylon Micro-Farms. “We are thrilled to partner with senior living organizations like Asbury where we can be part of the solution for residents who are prioritizing environmental responsibility.” Learn more about Babylon Micro-Farms here.