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Locally sourced foods take center stage at Campus Dining’s Earth Month events

Posted by on Monday, April 29, 2024 in Dining, Events.

During Earth Month, Vanderbilt Campus Dining hosted a series of events for the community, including the largest Rand Farmers Market to date! The market showcased locally sourced products such as fresh produce, cheeses and jams.

Seven workers at the Rand Farmers Market surrounded by produce

Several partners and vendors were invited to campus and set up tents offering samples for students.

Among Vanderbilt’s core principles of sustainability is emphasis on local sourcing. Since 2021, the university has partnered with Hydrohouse Farms, a Middle Tennessee farm established by Vanderbilt alum Hassan Sharaff. The mission of Hydrohouse Farms is to supply quality, healthy, locally grown vegetables to the Nashville area.

Vanderbilt alum James Valencia brought his venture, Radical Shoots, to the Rand Farmers Market.

Vanderbilt alum James Valencia brought his venture, Radical Shoots, to the Rand Farmers Market. Radical Shoots provides high-quality, locally grown microgreens to the campus Athletics dining facility.

Two men pose for a photo at the Rand Farmers Market


“Growing 101,” an event at the farmers market, featured a giveaway of margherita pizzas crafted by the culinary team using basil grown on campus. Kipp Bennet, the hydroponic specialist who oversees the Tower Gardens in the dining halls, contributed to the production of basil used in the pizzas.

The Supplant Company also ran a giveaway, distributing products prepared by Chef Jennifer of the Rand Bakery that featured sustainable sugar reduction.

Lundberg Family Farms handed out rice snacks made from sustainably grown rice.

Other sustainability efforts on campus enjoyed success, including 5,000 people enrolled in the ReusePass reusable container program as of March 2024. The goal of ReusePass is to reduce single-use plastic on campus.

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