Photos by Makayla Boling
On September 3, 2019, Middle Tennessee State University celebrated the official grand opening of the “Farmers Market,” one of the first and only all-organic meal options offered on campus. It is an all-you-care-to-eat dining hall located in the Student Union, and open only for lunch and dinner. Farmers Market is quickly becoming popular amongst students– with over 1,250 pounds of fresh produce consumed at the venue in the first week alone, according to Debra Sells, the Vice President of Student Affairs –due to its bright atmosphere, quality meals, and the fresh-made ice cream sourced straight from the MTSU Creamery. Some students are even being called “regulars” by the staff, despite Farmers Market only being open for less than a month.
The biggest attraction for students is the fresh seasonal ingredients, which are sourced from farmers within a two-hundred mile radius to get the freshest produce possible.
Every day, Farmer’s Market offers two specialty soups and salads, a sandwich of the day, one protein, and three grilled vegetables. The plates and utensils are all biodegradable, starting an environmentally conscious attitude with students who may not think about the materials they throw away every day.
“By opening an all-organic restaurant with biodegradable materials, Aramark hopes to spread environmental awareness throughout the middle Tennessee area, starting with MTSU,” said Rachel Bruce, the Aramark Marketing Manager at MTSU.
Every meal and ingredient is cooked fresh within view of the dining area, never going to a freezer for storage, and every recipe is hand crafted by head chef Brandon Demers. All recipes must be approved by Aramark—however, students are already noticing the differences between these meals and those served at other on-campus eateries.
“I like that it’s different every day, and gives me greener options that I just can’t get at McCallies or Panda Express,” said Aliciah Davis, a Video and Film Production major. “I’m eating vegetables for the first time in a week!”
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