UofL Farm Profiles: Know where your food comes from
Do you know where your food comes from? With news of national food recalls and outbreaks of foodborne illness, that question is being asked more frequently.
At UofL, nearly a quarter of the food in campus dining facilities comes from local farms and businesses.
UofL and Sodexo, UofL’s dining service provider, have a long-term commitment to buy as much local food as is possible. Food safety is one reason—but not the only one. Buying locally helps to ensure food’s freshness, supports the local economy, and cuts down on the use of fossil fuel emissions from transporting long distances.
Do you know where your campus food comes from? If you don’t, you will. Think of this as your behind the “barnyard door” look at the farms and people that make local UofL meals possible.
If you’re eating lettuce or basil right now, it might well have been grown at Grateful Greens just across the river in Clarksville, Ind. Grateful Greens is a hydroponic farm, meaning its herbs and vegetables are grown in water that’s rich with mineral nutrient solutions. It grows basil all year round and its products include several types of lettuces, edible flowers and tomatoes (the latter two are grown in soil). Since its founding in 2000, Grateful Greens has increased its production and continues to expand.
If you’re enjoying a burger or fried chicken, you might be eating Kentucky-grown meat from the Marksbury Farm Market, a small-scale, butcher shop, farm market and processing facility in Lancaster, Ky. Marksbury Farm is committed to sustainable, humane and natural production methods. The farm’s humanely raised cattle, hogs and poultry are completely free of growth hormones, steroids and antibiotics. Animals come from Kentucky farm families who share their commitment to high-quality, locally produced meats.
You and the dedicated chefs at UofL want the same thing: for your dining experience to be the very best. That’s why they rely on Creation Gardens—a high-quality local food distribution company—to supply them with the products they need to make your favorite meals not only possible, but also delicious.
Ron Turner was working with his wife at an ice company when he founded Creation Gardens in 1997. He decided to take advantage of the refrigerated truck to carry produce, little knowing he one day would have 80 employees and a distribution company with a presence not only in in Louisville, but also Nashville, Lexington, Paducah, Owensboro, Evansville and Bowling Green.
Bourbon Barrel Foods
You probably haven’t spent too much time thinking about sugar, but the staff at Bourbon Barrel Foods has. Bourbon Barrel Foods takes the time to figure out how to make its sugar flavorful and distinct. The sugar that UofL gets from this company is smoked with wood from barrels that once held Kentucky’s finest bourbons. The staff at Bourbon Barrel Foods is dedicated to creating innovative gourmet food products that represent some of Kentucky’s rich food heritage and support local farmers and businesses in the process.
(Editor’s Note: This is the first farm profile article of several.)