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In 2018 SARC and Eagle Dining partnered to begin a Farm-2-Table initiative on the Armstrong Campus! We regularly supply fresh produce to the Southern Cafe.

Agriculture and industry – including food production – are among the largest consumers of water and produce a significant portion of global greenhouse gas emissions, but growing food using aquaponics can cut down on both significantly. As part of our commitment to providing responsibly-sourced produce to the community, we introduced our Farm-2-Table partnership here on the Armstrong Campus. Southern Cafe always features produce grown in our greenhouse as a centerpiece of the restaurant, depending on what is in season. Salads are always in, and many other dishes like the vegetable stew and margherita pizza feature herbs from SARC’s greenhouse as well! 

Margherita pizza with ‘Armstrong Heirloom Sweet Basil’

One of the reasons why we entered into this partnership is to provide students and faculty with a blueprint of how farm-to-table or locally-sourced food production works. When restaurants purchase produce directly from farmers, farmers are able to increase their profits. In return, these restaurants can serve higher quality, fresher food since long-haul distribution is no longer a factor in accessing these goods.

In a way, the relationship fostered between farmers and restaurants mirrors the goal of recirculating aquaculture farms like the one at SARC because they are circular systems – not linear. The restaurants know where their food comes from; therefore, their customers will be more confident that the food they consume is healthy, fresh, and straight from the people in their local community. They’re supporting the local economy and farmers won’t lose profits to food distributors selling their products at a higher price than what it was purchased. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, which is why we are so enthusiastic to embark on this new and exciting journey. 

For more about how SARC connects to our community partners, check out the News page.

Check out the Southern Cafe and get a taste of what sustainable farming can do!

Last updated: 6/7/2021