This Earth Week, we’re all trying to think a little greener, and Frederick Memorial Hospital is no exception.
In addition to collection drives for old cell phones, books, nursing uniforms and footwear and a confidential paper recycling event, the hospital’s Food and Nutrition Department is joining the green movement by planting an herb garden.
Hospital maintenance staff-members built three planters and delivered bags of soil to get the garden started. Then it was time for Chef Tom Cerkez, the hospital’s director of Food and Nutrition Services, to start digging in the dirt.
In the course of an afternoon, Cerkez planted thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, chives, marjoram, dill, sage, cilantro, summer savory and fennel – which will all be used to add some fresh flavor to the cuisine served to patients and in the hospital cafeteria.
“Having trained and apprenticed with French and Italian chefs I was always surrounded with fresh ingredients including herbs. In hotels and fine dining it’s just the norm,” said Cerkez. “That’s not always the case in a healthcare setting, but we want to offer patients, staff and visitors delicious and healthy meal options.”
Particularly for patients who need to watch their salt and fat intake, the herbs will add flavor that might otherwise come from butter, salt, or pepper.
If you’re interested in growing herbs to “go green” and spice up your own cooking, Herb Garden DIY has a good guide for getting started and pointers on how to use your fresh herbs.