Vanderbilt Campus Dining to feature local and sustainable produce
As part of Vanderbilt Campus Dining’s continued efforts to become a more environmentally sustainable operation, the nationally recognized foodservice provider is proud to announce a strategic partnership with Middle Tennessee-based Hydrohouse Farms. Founded by Vanderbilt alumnus Hassan Sharaff in 2016, Hydrohouse Farms’ mission is to provide quality, healthy, locally-grown vegetables to the Nashville area.
The farm centers around a 6,000ft2 greenhouse in which leafy green vegetables and herbs are grown, under natural sunlight, using a hydroponic irrigation system. In addition to providing fresh greens for schools, restaurants, grocery stores, and caterers, Hydrohouse Farms works with other local universities, non-profit organizations, and community gardens to help educate and promote sustainable agricultural practices. “Campus Dining has a long history of partnering with our local farmers and vendors in an effort to both reduce our carbon footprint and support our local community. I’m so happy to partner with a recent Vanderbilt grad to offer nutritious, delicious, and local greens to our current students, and bring this relationship full circle,” remarks Suzanne Herron, sustainability coordinator for Campus Dining.
Currently, Hydrohouse Farms provides fresh produce for the following meal stations across the Campus dining network:
- Thai Basil, available on avocado toast at Toasted stations (Rand, Commons, and EBI).
- Arugula, available at all Toasted stations, plus Bowls at Kissam.
- Green Leaf and Oak Leaf Lettuce, available on sandwiches at Randwich and Magnolia & Co, in addition to burgers served at Pub Favorites (EBI and Commons).
Observant students may have already noticed the addition of an LED tower garden in the Commons Dining Gallery. Stocked with seedlings grown at Hydrohouse, this tower garden redefines the term ‘local produce,’ eventually intended to supply the Commons’ culinary team with fresh herbs and greens – grown just a few feet away from where they will be served to students. Executive Chef Jordan Rogers notes, “In terms of sustainable sourcing, this is a win for both Vanderbilt and for our students. The quality and taste is just amazing, and we look forward to incorporating these products into more of our fresh offerings.”
In addition, Hydrohouse Farms has plans to expand its offerings to provide fresh greens to Vanderbilt Catering and Special Events, once on-campus gatherings resume in the future.
For more information about Vanderbilt Campus Dining and its other sustainability initiatives, visit https://campusdining.vanderbilt.edu/our-mission-2/sustainability/.
More information about Hydrohouse Farms can be found at https://www.hydrohousefarms.com/.