Lynchburg hospital offers unique experience with home-grown lettuce

Lettuce takes two to four weeks to grow before served to patients, families

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Feedback has been good for one hospital that’s taking dining to another level.

Centra in Lynchburg is offering fresh lettuce that’s grown in the building at its salad bar.

Centra partnered with a Charlottesville company to grow four different kinds of lettuce, including romaine.

Nutrition service officials said they can control the plant’s environment and receive alerts on their phone if something is wrong.

“We have chefs who serve things. We want the food to be nutritious. We want the food to be good tasting. So, things like this are innovative. We are the first ones to have this in the U.S. This does not exist in any other hospital,” Timothy Schoonmaker, executive chef of Centra Nutrition Services, said.

Schoonmaker said it takes about two to four weeks for the lettuce to be ready and served to patients and families.

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