“Everything can relate back to food and how it nourishes our bodies”
- Trevor Johnson, resident farmer, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital
Making a positive long-term change in the world is not a task for the faint of heart. Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital’s resident farmer, Trevor Johnson, says his goal is to do just that.
In his role of overseeing the hospital greenhouse and coordinating various educational programs, tours and classes, Trevor aims to help people become more focused on how food is our medicine, and how strongly it contributes to our well-being. He’s passionate about educating young minds about nature; where they fit in it, and how they can work with it.
Trevor has had a hunger for hands-on exploring and learning about nature since he was a child. The Michigan State University graduate got his start in farming on MSU’s student organic farm. Ten years of farming, including managing and designing farms up to 50 acres, led Trevor to his current role as our resident farmer.
At the Greenhouse, Johnson grows a wide variety of produce, including tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers, peas, beans, strawberries, Swiss chard, Chinese cabbage and herbs. The produce being grown in the greenhouse helps to reduce food costs at the hospital while providing patients with healthy meals.
A day at the farm
A typical day in the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital greenhouse involves Johnson making sure the crops receive proper nutrients, starting seeds to provide a continuous supply of lettuce, and monitoring for plant health, insects and signs of disease.
The greenhouse uses hydroponics (growing plants in water versus soil), to maximize and maintain space for patients staff and visitors. Hydroponics allows growers more control over plant health and uses only 10% of the water needed in soil-based farming. The plants receive what they need daily in organic nutrients, which reduce pests, diseases and weeds.
In addition to feeding patients, the produce is used in other areas of the hospital, including the 90-seat Demonstration Kitchen, Henry’s café and is sold at the Henry Ford West Bloomfield seasonal farmers' market.