It’s only taken 50 years or so


The Delema G. Deaver Wellness Farm

This is so exciting!!! The Lanekenau Medical Center, in Wynnewood, PA, has opened a hospital-based wellness farm with the goal of demonstrating that nutrition and food has a beneficial effect on individuals and the community.

While I’m so happy to see this project the snarky part of me says, “Well, duh! It’s about time!” But really, I’m very happy this is finally coming to fruition.

I’ve been involved in the health, wellness, sustainability and organic food movement for about 45 years now, and boy have things changed!

In the 70’s a small group of us brought the organic food movement to the Philadelphia area with one of the first health food stores, Essene. Some of you in the area may remember it. (It’s been sold now and no longer offers the same quality of foods, but it was great while it lasted.)

When we started all of this you couldn’t find a doctor to go to who would understand that food had something to do with health. Doctors always said “Food has nothing to do with your health.”

We were pretty much treated as lunatics. (Ummm – we were out of the mainstream hippies so I kinda get it, in a way, sorta – maybe.) I know a few friends who had the unfortunate experience of being reported to child services because they were giving their kids a diet of whole grains, tons of vegetables, beans, sea veggies, some fish and chicken but no dairy, meat or sugar.

Really? Yes, really!!! This wasn’t considered a healthy diet 45 years ago, especially for children. You must have dairy and meat to be healthy. Can you believe it? It was next to impossible to find any sort of doctor let alone a pediatrician who would support us in what we were doing.

And now, eating a diet of mostly plant-based foods, with whole grains, beans, and small amounts of animal protein is considered the healthiest way to eat and most parents know their kids should be eating this healthfully (even if they can’t figure out how to make that happen). It’s been a hard, uphill battle. And it brings great joy to me that now, in the Philadelphia area alone, we are able to support numerous health-food supermarkets, we have holistic doctors (although few and far between) and the medical community is finally getting on board that food, exercise, lifestyle and emotions play a large factor in health and wellness.

I applaud the Lankenau Medical Center and those they have partnered with to make this happen and hope they are able to accomplish wonderful things with this project.

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