People want their produce from where they’re living, where they’re working and that being on a large campus where we serve over 10,000 meals a day can be really challenging trying to source that much local produce. The Freight Farm project is a sustainable initiative that Chartwells brought onto campus to help us obtain local produce that is sustainably grown. It was such a unique project we could actually grow our own food and actually move that right into our dining halls. Not only did we want to give our campus fresh, locally grown produce, we also wanted to make it an educational experience as well. The really cool things about our Leafy Green Machine, our students are actually
running it. They’re the primary operators They get to run it on a day-to- day basis. They’re learning a lot about hydroponic farming too. A hydroponic system is growing plants without the use of soil. You’re basically setting plants into a stream of water that has all the nutrients that it needs in order
to grow and you’re just growing it that way. So you’re using water instead of soil. The lights are what allows the plants to grow in there without being out in the open. And the whole purpose of having this container sealed off is so that you don’t have to worry about outside factors such as drought, disease, pests, things that like. This operation ensures that you have a perfect climate, nothing changes, temperatures do not go too low or too high unless you want them too. Being able to see where your food is coming from I think is a really, great eye-opener. Knowing that I can do something sustainable within an ordinary company and knowing that I can make an impact. It’s not just like the grocery store you
know it actually has some sort of place and some sort of land it came from.