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MTSU Farmers Market keeps students trendy and gree...

MTSU Farmers Market keeps students trendy and green

Students and faculty gather in the popular new Farmers Market Dining Hall.

MTSU has always had green-minded students: from our prestigious Environmental Science program to the expansive recycling efforts on campus, students are always ready to contribute to a better earth. And it seems that the trend is catching on—even Aramark is getting in on it with the new student dining facility, the Farmers Market. 

The Farmers Market is the campus’ first and only all-organic all-you-can-eat dining hall. It boasts a daily main course and a selection of fresh sides prepared for every meal by the executive chef, as well as a daily sandwich option, two daily soups, and a build-your-own salad bar with locally-grown ingredients, on top of the already famous homemade ice cream and milkshake bar made from MTSU milk. 

A cook at the Famers market prepares a Cuban sandwich for the daily sandwich menu.

One of the daily sandwiches, the Cuban, was met with instant excitement from students. Cooks had a difficult time keeping up! (Angele Latham/ Student Voice)

Fresh fruit sits on dimply in wicker baskets at the Farmers Market, ready for students to enjoy.

Fresh fruit is always in abudance–and always popular– at the Farmers Market. (Angele Latham/ Student Voice)

Students choose from a wide variety of salad ingredients available every day at the Farmers Market.

Students enjoy the wide variety of salad ingredients available every day at the Farmers Market. (Angele Latham/ Student Voice)

All food produced is from Aramark-affiliated farms that are within 200 miles of the school, and all disposable products used in the restaurant are 100 percent biodegradable.  Every meal is cooked with ingredients that have never seen the inside of a freezer, and prepared within view of the dining area by executive chef Brandon Demers.

If the food options don’t already sound impressive, it only takes a moment upon entering the restaurant to fall in love with it. The staff is friendly, the lighting is calming, everything is immaculately clean and students seem to have an unspoken agreement of quietness that gives the space a feeling of tranquility.

Students mill about the Farmers Market during lunch, enjoying the fresh food and good company.

Students mill about during lunch, enjoying the fresh food and good company. (Angele Latham/ Student Voice)

In a previous interview MTSU Sidelines, MT Dining’s Aramark Marketing Manager Rachel Hunter described the new venue as a way for dining halls to stay “on top of trends. 

“It’s a farm-to-fork kind of experience with local, seasonal, fresh foods,” she said.  “It’s kind of catering to the new trend of how everything has to be made right there in front of you. 

A cook works on the daily sandwich in front of students with locally sourced ingredients.

A cook works on the daily sandwich in front of students with locally sourced ingredients. (Angele Latham/ Student Voice)

The grand opening of the venue on September 3 was met with resounding approval, and capped an already busy first two weeks for the location. According to Debra Sells, vice president of student affairs, students at the Farmers Market consumed over 1,250 pounds of fresh produce in the first week alone. 

The venue accepts meal swipe, flex bucks and cash/credit, with the door-rate matching McCallie Dining Hall. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Author Angele Latham is a senior at MTSU, majoring in Journalism in the College of Media and Entertainment and minoring in Criminal Justice Administration and Global Studies. The views and opinions expressed above are her own.


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