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Boston Medical Center's rooftop farm recognized by the White House

Boston Medical Center's rooftop farm recognized by the White House
Boston Medical Center's rooftop farm recognized by the White House 02:33

BOSTON - A farm in Boston is getting national recognition, but it might be hard to find unless you look up.

The hidden jewel is on the roof of Boston Medical Center.

"This or next week will be probably the last week of harvesting for the pantry," Annabel Rabiyah, BMC's farm manager, told WBZ-TV.

It's a wow moment when you come up and see the rooftop farm.

"There's 2,300 milk crates on this roof. It's on a 7,000 square foot rooftop," said David Maffeo, the hospital's senior director of support services.

Maffeo had the idea in 2017 and since then, the farm has grown.

"We wanted to build a food resilient infrastructure in the community we serve," he told WBZ.

The other part of this story is Rabiyah - the urban farmer.

"It's a very unusual job. I definitely don't take it for granted. It's really special to be here," they said.

The food grown here is going to the patients in the medical center and the hospital's food pantry. It's helping those with dietary needs.

"We knew the food would impact the patients that need it. Food insecurity is such a huge problem but what we really wanted to do in our greater mission was to inspire them to grow on their own," Maffeo said.

"That is my favorite thing about working here. I just look across the street and I know there's this structure built and I know that people are going to get that food," Rabiyah told WBZ.

This rooftop farm has been recognized by the White House as a model for what other medical centers can do.

"It wasn't too long ago, the food insecurity team came out and they wanted to learn more about our programs, not just our farm but some of the other programs here at the medical center and it just really solidified why we are doing all of this," Maffeo said.

"I'm so grateful for the opportunity. I actually dreamed of working here for many years. So, it's really special to be here," Rabiyah told WBZ.

For more information on the rooftop farm, visit their website.

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