A new hydroponic farm is helping Rochester Institute of Technology bring fresh meaning to the term local produce.
The on-campus farm, which had its first harvest in August, is currently providing the university with greens such as kale, cilantro, basil and lettuce. Its bounty is being served in the school’s Brick City Cafe and through RIT Catering, with the aim to eventually serve the produce across the Rochester, N.Y., campus.
“Brick City Cafe is known for its salad bar, thus the proximity of the farm is a chance to provide a literal farm-to-table experience,” Denishea Ortiz, director of strategic marketing and retail product management for RIT Auxiliary Services, said in a statement. “The produce is fresher and contains more nutrients.”
Going forward, RIT chefs will help inform what sorts of produce are grown based on their needs.
“This is square one, and from here, we have a huge opportunity to turn this farm into something lasting and impactful,” said Farm Manager Dave Brault. “Hopefully, other universities will see that it can be done and that the logistical challenges in implementing something like this are not insurmountable.”