Sky Farm a unique space atop new Eskenazi Hospital - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Sky Farm a unique space atop new Eskenazi Hospital

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INDIANAPOLIS -

When Indianapolis' newest hospital opens its doors this weekend, it will offer a feature that provides healthy benefits, in more ways than one.

The "Sky Farm" at Eskenazi Hospital is 5,000 square feet of space designed to encourage healthy living.

"We're the first Sky Farm for a hospital that's ever been done in the United States," said Health & Hospital President & CEO Matt Gutwein.

Already in the month of December, ground crops are growing in the garden beds of the Sky Farm, some seven stories up, on the roof of Eskenazi Hospital.

"The Sky Farm is a place where we want our patients and families to get out of their hospital beds and come up and breathe fresh air, get bathed in the sunlight. Be among those beautiful vegetables and fruits and have a moment of respite and care and we know that Sky Farm is going to help our patients heal," Gutwein said.

It's a natural retreat that will also serve as a source of food for the hospital cafeteria and restaurant. Some of the garden beds are 30 inches high for patients who are in wheelchairs.

"So if you're in a wheelchair, we want you to come up here and dig your hands in the dirt, pick a carrot and pick a blueberry and be able to participate in the harvest and the growth of the Sky Farm," Gutwein said.

Not only will patients spend time at the Sky Farm, it will also serve as a teaching space for members of the community to learn how to grow and prepare fresh foods that contribute to healthier lifestyles.

"Coming to the hospital can be a very dehumanizing, socially-isolating experience and the opportunity for them to get out into nature and the community of others," said Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO & Medical Director of Eskenazi Health.

The Sky Farm will be open year round.

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