532: Lindsay Allen on Rooftop Farming.

Growing food on top of a hospital.

In This Podcast:

Hospital food isn’t always the best cuisine, but Lindsay Allen is working to change that at Boston Medical Center. Listen in to learn how a hospital rooftop farm is improving hospital food to make it more nourishing as well as feeding the community through their farmers market and food pantry. This 7,000 square foot space produces about 6,000 pounds of food and is not without challenges. Lindsay shares how they overcome unpredictable events, situations, and weather.

Our Guest:

532: Lindsay Allen on Rooftop Farming.Lindsay is a farmer and educator, from Boston, Massachusetts. She has been farming for the past 10 years and managed farms in both rural and suburban locations around and outside the United States.  She currently works with Higher Ground Farm as the Operations Director, and as the Farm Manager of the 7,000 square foot Rooftop Farm at Boston Medical Center.
A strong ethic towards food justice, climate change mitigation and a passion for getting creative in how we grow and distribute food in our urban landscapes brought Lindsay to work with Higher Ground Farm.  Outside of the direct farming working she is a certified Permaculture Designer and Educator and teaches courses a few times a year on the subject.  She is currently pursuing her Masters in Agroforestry.
When Lindsay is not teaching or growing food, she can be found happily experimenting with fermentations, communing with chickens, spending time outdoors, crafting, or sharing a good home-cooked meal with family and friends.

Listen in and learn about:

    • Creating a wholistic approach to health and environmental stewardship
    • Permaculture design and how this influences her current work in a rooftop garden
    • Improving hospital food so that it is nourishing and healthy
    • Their placement strategy for the rooftop garden
    • Using milk crates to grow 5,000 – 6,000 lbs of food productively
    • The hospital’s onsite food pantry for food insecure patients
    • Nourishing Our Communities three programs within the hospital
    • Some of her heartwarming experiences with hospital patients
    • The challenges of growing food for a hospital and rooftop farming
    • Designing around unpredictable, extreme weather events

As well as:

Her failure – Bridging the gap between farmed food and prepared, ready to cook food that needs little preparation.

Her success – The hospital rooftop garden project.

Her drive – Doing work that is healthy for the planet and people to connect them with the food system.

Her advice – We need to plant food wherever we can, and we can influence institutions and organizations to play a bigger role in improving the food systems.

Lindsay’s Book recommendation: 

Farming While Black by Leah Penniman

How to reach Lindsay:

Website: highergroundfarm.com Boston Medical Center  

Instagram: rooftopfarmlady, highergroundfarm


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