Students at Nazareth University in Rochester, N.Y. now have a first-hand look at where their food comes from thanks to a new “micro farm” in the dining hall.
The dining team, which is operated by Sodexo, partnered with Babylon Micro-Farms to install the hydroponic farm, which can grow a variety of lettuce, leafy greens and herbs.
Items harvested from the farm will be used in dishes and the dining team is planning a handful of student activities that will utilize the farm as well.
“We are very excited to partner with Babylon to bring fresh-grown herbs, microgreens, and vegetables to campus,” Nazareth Dining Executive Chef Wilson Castillo said in a statement. “Being able to watch these items grow from seedlings until they’re ready to be harvested and eaten gives people an elegant visual of the whole process. We are excited to see this program grow and thrive.”
The new farm furthers the school’s sustainability initiatives and its mission to better student health, according to school officials.
This is not the first time a hydroponic farm has been installed directly inside a campus building. The University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire purchased two micro farms from Babylon in 2022 and placed them in its Davies Center.
The trend has also spread to senior living. Commonwealth Senior Living based in Charlottesville, Va. has installed micro farms in each of its dining rooms. The farms allow residents to enjoy over 45 varieties of leafy greens, herbs and microgreens in meals.