In an effort to provide students with the freshest local produce available, Stony Brook University became the first university to operate the Leafy Green Machine right on campus late this summer. Their first harvest came just in time to celebrate Food Day on campus last week. As a way to recognize the school's project they brought together chefs, University representatives and the student freight farmers in the Roth Cafe to prepare the food grown right out back. It was successful to say the least.
Cited as the 4th most environmentally responsible university, we knew SBU would be the perfect fit to spearhead this brand new initiative. Since the project’s inception, the campus has been abuzz with conversations around food, sustainability, and interest in getting involved. They have big plans for the future, and we can’t wait to watch it grow...literally.
It has been just over two years since Boston Latin School received their Leafy Green Machine, and the project has grown considerably since its inception. This month a new group of student farmers are becoming a part of the project, as well as some faculty and parents who have showed interest!
These students are becoming experts on the science and engineering of hydroponic agriculture, and they are learning the business and responsibility of running a farm! Their goals this year are to grow more produce for a student led CSA, and donate surplus harvest to the local community. The ultimate goal is to be growing produce for their school’s cafeteria!
Both these schools are making positive changes in their school’s food environment and creating a lasting impact on the health of their communities. It’s not just about the food coming out of the farm...these projects give students hands-on learning experience outside of the classroom and allow them to take ownership over a project that is new and exciting. Receiving first hand experience not only exposes students to real-life opportunities, but also equips them with the right knowledge to make more informed choices that support their health.