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Vanderbilt Campus Dining welcomes new local suppliers in a fresh commitment to sustainability

Posted by on Thursday, January 4, 2024 in Uncategorized.

Vanderbilt University Campus Dining is pleased to announce an exciting enhancement to our menu offerings with the introduction of a new lineup of local suppliers. This initiative underscores our dedication to sustainability and our goal of providing fresh, high-quality offerings across our dining locations.

Introducing Our Local Suppliers

  • Tower Gardens: Initially installed in 2021, Campus Dining now operates 10 LED tower gardens at Common, EBI, Rothschild, and Zeppos Dining Halls.  The towers, managed by cook-turned-Hydroponics Specialist Kip Bennett, produce a variety of leafy green vegetables including lettuces, arugula, and basil.  Redefining the idea of ‘local produce’, Vanderbilt’s tower gardens allow students to witness future ingredients being grown just feet from where they’ll be harvested and used.
  • HydroHouse Farms: Founded by Vanderbilt alumnus Hassan Sharaff, this Hermitage, TN-based hydroponic greenhouse specializes in producing lettuces and arugula with a remarkable 90% water savings compared to traditional farming. Vanderbilt students can enjoy these greens at the Rand salad bar and the Randwich deli, with arugula featured prominently at 2301.
  • Henosis Farms: Located in Whites Creek, TN, and led by David Wells, Henosis Farms stands out for its sustainable mushroom cultivation. By upcycling agricultural byproducts, the farm not only reduces waste but also supports urban tree canopy efforts in Nashville. Diners at 2301, EBI, and Kissam can savor the unique flavors of Lion’s Mane, Oyster, and Shiitake mushrooms.
  • Ever Tru Farms: In partnership with Bosch Growers of the Netherlands, Ever Tru Farms in Somerset, KY, pioneers year-round strawberry production in its state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouse. Leveraging LED lighting and energy-efficient technologies, the farm supplies strawberries to all dining halls, ensuring a steady availability of this beloved fruit.  Look for Ever Tru strawberries on all breakfast fruit and yogurt bars across campus.

Our Commitment to Sustainability

At Vanderbilt Campus Dining, our mission extends beyond merely satisfying hunger. We are deeply committed to sustainability, recognizing that local sourcing significantly reduces our carbon footprint, supports local economies, and delivers fresher, more nutritious food to the Vanderbilt community. By choosing local suppliers, we not only elevate the dining experience on campus but also contribute to a healthier planet.

As we continue to innovate and expand our sustainability efforts, we invite the Vanderbilt community to join us in celebrating this new chapter. Together, we can make a meaningful impact, one meal at a time.

For more information about our sustainability initiatives and to learn more about our new local suppliers, please visit Campus Dining’s sustainability webpage at