OWU’s Dining Services in Smith Hall now provides hyper-local produce from MTSO’s Seminary Hill Farm, an organic farm just a few miles south of campus. Seminary Hill Farm emphasizes making fresh organic produce available to everyone in the community and works with the Yellow Bird FoodShed to provide fresh produce to members. The farm also teaches students in MTSO’s ministry program to value ecosystems and practice sustainable living.
Seminary Hill produce is now available as part of campus salad bars and will be used in other dishes served by Chartwells during the Fall Semester of 2017. Recipes from Seminary Hill Farm were featured during Farm Fresh Week (September 11th through 15th). Student Ellen Sizer (’18) has been the driving force behind this new culinary addition to campus and describes her motivations and progress:
This project was inspired by the continuous and hard work I have put in to make OWU’s campus more vegan and vegetarian (“veg”) friendly. I have been meeting with representatives for OWU’s food service provider Chartwells on a bi-weekly basis for the last year to discuss ways in which I can turn my ambitions into a reality. Through this collaboration with Chartwells I was able to implement small changes in the menu here at OWU. There are more tofu options, an abundance of soymilk, and tofurky has been added to the rotation in weekly dishes. The proposed Local Food Sourced Salad Bar, to be located in the Smith Dining Hall, is an ambitious next step in accommodating the needs of veg students and promoting local foods. The local Seminary Hill Farm will supply salad and vegetables for the salad bar: this is the foundation for the “local” theme of the salad bar. Much of the food in the salad bar will be vegetarian and vegan. I also envision the proposed salad bar as a location to offer and promote local veg food. However, I do not think only vegetarians and vegans will use the salad bar, and then it is not necessary to advertise the salad bar as vegetarian and vegan. Ultimately, the proposed salad bar will be appetizing and healthy and appealing to all students. In other words, I propose a stealth expansion of local and vegan and vegetarian food on campus through the Local Food Sourced Salad Bar.
I held a discussion/tasting on April 22nd, 2017 with Tadd Peterson and Noelle Deehr from Seminary Hill Farm, as well as Chartwells staff, and Del Sroufe who is co-owner at Wellness Forum Foods. For this tasting, I also invited some students with similar ambitions such as mine to make OWU more vegan and vegetarian friendly. The food was received well and Chartwells was impressed.