The Student Farm Club at Penn State is partnering with Housing and Food Services (HFS) as part of National Nutrition Month to host a hydroponic lettuce tasting event, “Expand Your Salad Palate,” in Redifer Dining Commons, South Halls, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on March 13. The Student Farm Club invites all students, faculty, staff and community members to join them to taste a delicious variety of hydroponic lettuce grown by club members and learn about the nutritional benefits of eating a diversity of fresh, locally grown greens.
Established in 2015, the Student Farm Club is housed within the Sustainable Food Systems Program at Penn State, which strives to increase local food access and food systems education. Throughout the year, club members participate in and lead projects relating to sustainable agriculture, youth education, food security and more.
In order to provide lettuce to HFS during the winter months, the Student Farm Club has developed a hydroponics production system. This greenhouse-based, soil-free system has been used to grow over 20 different kinds of lettuce, which are being served in Redifer Dining Commons throughout the spring 2017 semester. HFS serves produce grown on the Student Farm year-round in many on-campus dining halls and campus restaurants.
In addition to the tasting, club members will be on-hand at the event to share the nutritional benefits of eating leafy greens and advice for eating seasonally. More than 20 varieties of lettuce will be available for tasting including: Green Romaine, Green Tango, Red Romaine, Heritage Lettuce, Baby Spinach, Arugula and Green Batavia.