Nova Scotia

Halifax hospitals replacing flower beds with vegetables

Halifax hospitals will soon replace their flower beds with vegetable gardens.

Beets, parsley, cabbage and kale will soon replace shrubs and lawns

Dylan Nicolle, the owner of Deeper Roots Edible Landscaping, says it's great idea. He's standing on land near the QEII that has been used for community gardens for several years. (CBC)

Halifax hospitals will soon replace their flower beds with vegetable gardens.

The edible plants will be brought to replace the flowers, shrubs and even the lawn outside ten different medical centres.

Health authority staff say they're rethinking the way they use their outdoor space. The plan is to plant everything from beets to tomatoes right outside the hospitals.

"The plants outside Halifax hospitals are nice to look at, and soon they'll be nice to eat too," said Brian Rankine, the director of managed services at Nova Scotia Health.

"We said 50 per cent for our first year and with the intent that eventually we should make it all edible."

They'll grow beets, parsley, cabbage and kale outside the doors of the Victoria General, Nova Scotia Hospital, Dartmouth General and seven other smaller facilities.

"Anywhere we have flower beds, we'll make better use of those by having edible products rather than pretty bushes and flowers," Rankine said.

Staff say the project is cost neutral.

Dylan Nicolle, the owner of Deeper Roots Edible Landscaping, says it's a great way to use the space.

"It makes perfect sense to adapt these edible landscaping skills in a way that would benefit the eyes — and the stomach," he said.

Hospitals will work with food banks, community groups and even restaurants to find hungry people for the home-grown hospital food.

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