Commonwealth Senior Living has received a 2020 Argentum Best of the Best Award for its innovative hydroponic farming program. The farming program, conducted in partnership with Charlottesville, Virginia-based Babylon Microfarm, is among the first of its kind in the senior living industry and is part of Commonwealth’s commitment to providing residents with fresh, locally-sourced vegetables which are proven to have numerous benefits to seniors including reducing blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease, and promoting higher brain activity.
“Our team is always seeking new opportunities to improve the lives of our residents and their families,” said Earl Parker, President and COO of Commonwealth Senior Living. “The hydroponic farming program we introduced at several of our communities has been a tremendous success. Residents can now select from over 45 varieties of leafy greens, herbs, and microgreens grown in-house which has resulted in consumption of nutrient-rich greens increasing by 35%.”
Recognizing the importance of a well-balanced diet for seniors, Commonwealth launched its Farm to Table dining program in 2015 in partnership with Produce Source Partners. That initiative brought fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to all of Commonwealth’s senior living communities. In 2016, the Farm to Table program was expanded with Today from the Bay, in partnership with Sam Rust Seafood, which introduced seasonal seafood from the Chesapeake Bay including Black Sea Bass, Flounder, Sea Trout, Clams, Oysters, Striped Bass, among other native species. The introduction of Babylon Microfarm’s hydroponic farming expands Commonwealth’s goal of providing residents with the freshest ingredients possible.
Bob Raymond, Vice-President of Procurement and Dining Services for Commonwealth, said this about the award: “It is a tremendous honor to be recognized by Argentum for our hydroponic farming program. Not only does this program benefit our residents, it has a tremendous environmental impact by reducing upwards of 20,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year from the atmosphere by eliminating the need for regular deliveries from vendors.”
Argentum’s Best of the Best Awards recognize innovative programs, products, and services that solve a challenge, advance excellence, and improve the future of senior living. This year’s honorees were chosen for qualities such as relevance of the challenge; impact of the initiative, both qualitative and quantitative; and plans for growth or scalability.
“The Best of the Best Awards give us all a chance to hear the inspiring stories behind innovations that can make a lasting difference in the health, independence, and quality of life for residents and stronger engagement for those working in the industry,” said James Balda, Argentum president and CEO. “We’re pleased to be able to celebrate these offerings and the companies who cultivate them.”
We are so honored to receive this award and continue to be able to improve the lives of seniors in an additional way.