LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - A Little Rock hospital rooted in innovation is at it again, and this time the Arkansas Heart Hospital is getting its hands dirty.

The hospital opened its own garden this year – a source of produce for its café and also a tool to promote healthy living.

“It’s a commitment to trying to make Arkansas a healthier state, and this is an important part of that,” Arkansas Heart Hospital gardener Jon Bierman said.

The garden, located behind the hospital’s Little Rock Clinic, is the only one of its kind operated by a hospital in Arkansas, according to Bierman.

“You’re not going to find higher quality food than day-fresh organic produce,” Bierman said.

Once grown, the seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs are picked and taken to the hospital’s café, where they are used in a variety of dishes.

“What you see in these raised beds will be what’s on your plate,” Bierman said.

Bierman also helps teach cooking demos in the clinic – highlighting food’s power as medicine, he said.

“What we’re doing here is a direct response to trying to get people to understand that eating plants, vegetables, fruits, and exercising is an important part of health,” Bierman said. “It’s an important lesson we all need to adopt. We’ve got a long road of health improvement in our state, but this is one way we can start,” he said of the garden.