Marist Dining Brings Back Neighborgoods Farmers' Market
October 07, 2021
Marist Dining hosted its first farmers’ market in 2 years this past Thursday, October 7th.
The event, entitled Neighborgoods Farmers’ Market, took place in the outdoor dining tent, and attracted almost 300 students.
The farmers’ market was created as a way to bring fresh produce to students, while also supporting local and regional farms.
Along with the produce, hot food items were freshly prepared by the dining hall; smoked chicken, braised lentils, squash soup, vegetable chili, and roasted vegetables were all available for students to enjoy. In addition, seasonal goods such as apple cider donuts and pumpkin loaves were freshly baked and served.
The menu was created by the chefs specifically for the farmers’ market, as they took into account the seasonality of the produce along with what Marist students would enjoy the most.
The market is a great way to bring fresh goods to campus, but it is also a part of the dining hall’s sustainability initiatives. “Marist Dining Services prides itself in sourcing over 50% of ingredients locally and regionally within a 200 mile radius,” said Kate Cole, Marketing Specialist for Marist DIning. “The Neighborgoods Farmers’ Market is a concept that was developed two years ago in order to showcase some of the local farms and suppliers that we source from,” said Cole.
Neighborgoods aimed to be as low waste as possible, encouraging students to use reusable bags for the products, and ensuring that compostable materials were used for bagged items and hot food containers.
Additionally, extra produce was used within the dining hall, and extra prepared food that met donation standards was donated to FeedHV, a community food relief network that Marist provides food to on a weekly basis. The dining hall donated about 40 lbs of food in total.
Any food that did not meet standards was composted through Greenway, a local composting company that receives all of Marist Dining’s food waste, and transports it to their site to be made into usable soil.
In an effort to showcase the campus’ sustainability as a whole, several organizations that aim to promote environmental efforts attended the event. The Marist Community Garden had a table that showcased the garden’s history, its new produce, and ways to get involved with the garden. CSAC, the Campus Sustainability Advisory Committee had an informational table about the club and composting, along with ways to get involved in the campus’ composting initiatives. Marist’s Campus Closet, part of the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), set up its own mini thrift store, which allows students to exchange and “thrift” the clothes of other Marist students. Lastly, Hudson Valley Fresh, an important Marist partner that provides the dining hall with local dairy, came with an info table, samples, and products for students to purchase.
The farmers’ market this year in particular was an important one, given that the event was not possible last year. Marist Dining is very excited that Neighborgoods was such a hit, and looks forward to the future farmers’ markets.