Community farm to provide health education and awareness

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — In an effort to get community members focusing on healthy foods, Augusta Health is teaming up with the Allegheny Mountain Institute to provide community education about how to eat healthy.

Over one acre of the hospital's campus will be turned into a community farm, providing food and health awareness to both patients and community members.

Sue Erhardt, executive director of the institute, said the partnership is an important step in addressing the health needs of the community.

"Eating fresh food, local food is just as important as the medicine that our doctors prescribe," Erhardt said, "and so it's wonderful that we are on the same campus, so we know food is medicine, and we can all work together to create a healthier community."

Starting this summer, the farm will offer a variety of classes open to the public, including Gardening 101 and cooking classes. Over 30 different types of vegetables will be grown on the farm.

Krystal Moyers, community outreach manager for Augusta Health, said they hope the farm makes a difference in how people think about what they are eating.

"Years ago, we all grew gardens and canned food and did things along those lines, and we've moved away from that." Moyers said. "So to really bring back the focus of how important it is to eat fresh, local food is a major goal of this project, and I really hope it does that."

Food grown from the farm will be served in the hospital cafeteria and will be used in program to help diabetic patients eat nutrient-rich meals.

The farm's grand opening to the public will be June 23.