Maryville University & Fresh Idea Foods
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI
Fresh Idea Farms Employee
Maryville Farm Intern
Fresh Idea Foods
Maryville Dining Services
Maryville University Campus
Spring Mix (7 lettuce varieties)
Green Forest Romaine
Sustainability has been a long-time goal for Maryville University and their food service provider, Fresh Ideas. When the school learned about the Leafy Green Machine from an on-campus operation at the University of Oklahoma, the Maryville team knew they had to bring the technology to the Maryville campus.
In 2017, the Maryville and Fresh Ideas Freight Farm arrived on campus, and became the first hydroponic farm of it’s type in Missouri. Olivia Engel–a Fresh Ideas employee–became the dedicated farm operator, and within months the Maryville dining halls were receiving just-harvested greens from their on-campus farm.
Along with operating the farm, Olivia manages student farm interns, and gives seminars throughout the school year on the importance of sustainable farming.
Learn more in our interview it Olivia.
The campus farm is an important part of a larger sustainability initiative on campus. Fresh Ideas grows in a variety of campus gardens, tower gardens and partners with Greener Fields Together to source local food and provide chefs with the freshest ingredients available. The Fresh Ideas team also has a reusable container program, composting, recycling, and elimination of Styrofoam. Additionally, Maryville has an entire sustainability degree program, multiple ‘green’ student groups, and even dispense awards to recognize student efforts in promoting sustainability.
Fresh Ideas believes in educating their diners, so they created a special student internship program specially for the Leafy Green Machine. With the farm, they are able able to educate students on sustainability as it relates to food production, food waste and the power of green initiatives on campus and in our daily lives.
Whether it’s fresh greens or flavorful herbs, the Maryville Freight Farm brings students, faculty, and visitors the freshest food possible. Along with every-day dining hall service, Olivia works with the university to create engagement opportunities–like a build-your-own salad bar–to help spread the word about the program.