Farmers' market new project for student farm

Farm depends on both market and dining services sales to function.

June 10--Plastic baskets brimming with freshly picked vegetables like beets, kale and turnips fill tables set up at the Sustainable Student Farm’s weekly Farmer’s Market at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

As shoppers pick through the produce, Sustainable Student Farm employees Patricia Kelly and Kaelyn Knoche, both sophomores in ACES, offer advice and answer questions. The farm, which is located about two miles southeast of campus, is a six-acre production farm established in 2009 by a grant from the Student Sustainability Committee, according to the farm’s website . The farm is funded largely by its sales to the University’s Dining Services as well as the Farmer’s Market, and also continues to receive funding from the SSC.
Barring bad weather, the Farmer’s Market, will be held every Thursday through October.

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
vote buttons pins

On every other Thursday of our four-week cycle menu, we allow K-8 students to pick the entree choices. The media center specialist for each of the participating schools sets up the list of entree items on a computer for voting, and the winning entrees are given to cafeteria managers two weeks before the upcoming month to put into production. Students really like this, as it promotes ownership of the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chalkboard

We highlight our North Carolina products on a large chalkboard in our dining halls, and also list any produce we bring in from our own agroecology farm. It helps tell our story—positive and local.

Ideas and Innovation
raised garden beds

We have raised garden beds that residents can reserve and use to grow their own plants. Whenever a resident brings me fresh produce from their own garden, I try and incorporate it into a dish. If I do end up using it, I will display the resident’s name and what the produce was next to the dish on the menu.

Ideas and Innovation
chartwells teaching kids

Curriculum for the mobile teaching kitchen centers around a single kid-friendly recipe, using ingredients that can provide talking points for nutrition, sustainability and food origins. “The recipe is the lesson,” Saidel says. “Every ingredient is an opportunity to talk.”

Earlier this year, Saidel, Perkins and Harvey did a student demo featuring roasted chicken and white bean tacos with greens and citrus salsa. “We can say, ‘Why are we using chicken instead of beef? Why are there some beans in here?’ You can talk about plant proteins and the sustainability and health message around...

FSD Resources