The healthy hustle bustle of a farmer’s market at Adirondack Health
SARANAC LAKE –Thursdays at Adirondack Health now have the healthy hustle and bustle of a farmer’s market thanks to a new program available to employees.
Fledging Crow Vegetables, a Certified Naturally Grown vegetable farm in Keeseville, provides fresh farm produce to Adirondack Health work sites each week, where employees who enrolled in the community supported agriculture (CSA) receive a share of fresh-picked vegetables to enjoy with summer meals.
“We are excited to be able to help our employees and their families eat farm fresh,” said Margaretann Tagliagambe, RN, chair of the Wellness Committee and coordinator of the program. “Community sponsored agriculture is such a win/win – we get fresh vegetables, certified naturally grown nearby, along with recipes and the convenience of delivery to our workplace, and we are able to support a local farm and small business.”
“By helping employees access an abundance of fresh local food, Adirondack Health is promoting a healthier and more productive workplace,” said Brittany Harris from Fledging Crow. “According to one estimate, for every dollar spent on wellness programs, the average employer saves $3.27 in medical costs. In addition, sick leave, health plan costs, worker compensation, and disability costs decrease by about 25 percent per year with a wellness program in place.”
“Perhaps as important are the community building benefits,” she said. “Employees can share recipes with each other and connect over what they had for dinner last night, and that really adds vibrancy to everyone’s lives.”
An initiative of the Adirondack Health Wellness Committee, over 120 employees opted in for a full or half share of the farm’s weekly vegetables, delivered from the first week in June through October. Harvested from their Champlain Valley fields, Fledging Crow vegetables are either delivered to or picked up by Adirondack Health employees in Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake.
The bulk of Fledging Crow vegetables are distributed at AMC in Saranac Lake where members of the Wellness Committee help unload the weekly delivery, and the hospital’s cafeteria is transformed into an indoor farmer’s market. There, employees choose from bountiful bins of fresh vegetables for their weekly farm share. So far this growing season, selections have included mixed field greens, scallions, Swiss chard, Pok Choy, spinach, salad turnips, radishes, bib lettuce, broccoli, sage, Romaine lettuce, mint, broccoli rabe, cilantro and tomatoes.
In addition to the employee CSA, the cafeteria has purchased vegetables from Fledging Crow to serve to staff and visitors.
CAPTION: Brittany Harris and Ian Ater of Fledging Crow Vegetables distribute shares of vegetables to Adirondack Health staff, and answer questions or suggest recipes for the variety of vegetables available.