Earlier this summer, members of Patient Care Services (PCS) had the idea to create something new on BWH’s campus: a small herb garden on Shattuck Street.
The effort to plant and maintain the garden was led by Kathy McManus, MS, RD, director of Nutrition, and Maureen Fagan, DNP, MHA, WHNP-BC, FNP-BC, associate chief nurse for Obstetrics and Gynecology and executive director of the Center for Patients and Families. They have developed a schedule in which members of the Nursing and PCS departments take turns watering the herbs.
“We are always trying to find creative ways to promote health and wellness,” said McManus, who routinely sends her PCS colleagues unique recipes from Food Services that incorporate the herbs. “We hope that this garden will inspire us all to get back to the fundamentals of cooking at home and taking care of ourselves. We know there is a strong connection between food and medicine and that many cultures rely on food as medicine. Nutrition is very powerful.”
The garden contains mint, basil, Thai basil, cilantro, parsley, sage and rosemary. Patients, families, staff and visitors are welcome to take a cutting from the herbs to use when preparing meals. Cutting the herbs helps them grow and, in turn, yield more herbs.
The garden is symbolic of several core values of the PCS department, such as including the family as a key part of the care team; promoting cooking and living a healthy lifestyle; and incorporating healing and caring modalities.
“The beauty found in nature can enhance healing,” said Fagan. “Seeing a beautiful garden helps our patients, their families and our staff relieve stress, which benefits their well-being.”
McManus and Fagan encourage all BWH staff with or without a green thumb to join them in their gardening and healthy eating efforts. For more information, call 617-732-6636.
The Nutrition and Food Services departments host a Heart-Healthy Cooking Demo on the first Wednesday of every month from 2 to 2:30 p.m. on the second floor of 75 Francis St., near the entrance to the Shapiro bridge.