From Farm to Table
Food consumption on campus is environmentally conscious from start to finish. The fruits and vegetables we grow in our garden are pollinated by the bees from our hives. These fruits and vegetables are served in the Marketplace and the Jay’s Nest, along with other foods supplied from local food organizations. We’ve also implemented changes in Dining Services to significantly reduce our food waste.
Our organic garden produces fruits, vegetables and herbs, which are prepared by Dining Services and used to feed our students in the Marketplace and the Jay’s Nest. The one-acre garden was established in 2009 along the path to the Bowers Writers House, and it has continued to grow since then. Student and full time employees at Etown are responsible for weeding and harvesting crops from the garden. The garden produces 400 to 600 pounds of produce annually. The harvest includes a variety of crops including sugar peas, broccoli, corn, watermelon, cucumbers, kale, strawberries, cantaloupe, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, cabbage, blueberries and carrots.
The Dining Services Office, in conjunction with Facilities Management, uses many energy-efficient techniques. In 2010, Dining Services partnered with Somat Company of Lancaster and Mount Joy and farmer Mike Brubaker, to turn organic waste into electricity. This initiative reduced water consumption by 80% and cut waste hauling charges in half. We also recycle inorganic materials like glass, plastics and cardboard.
Unused, edible foods from Dining Services, along with collections from students at the end of the academic year, are donated to the local Food Bank.
Locally Sourced Foods
In addition to the food from our garden, we use locally grown and produced foods from companies such as Turkey Hill Dairy, John Gross & Company, Herr Snack Foods, and small local shops like Spence Candies in Etown. If you're looking for an off-campus dining option, many businesses in the Elizabethtown area, like the Masonic Village Farm Market, offer discounts for our students.
Our bees have been living on campus since 2015 in the five beehives located near the garden along the path to the Bowers Writers House. The bees were introduced to pollinate the campus garden, produce honey for the campus and to educate the campus community. The bees produce around five gallons of honey each year, which is jarred and sold in the Jay’s Nest. With the decline of the wild honeybee population, our bees serve as an educational tool for professors.