MILWAUKEE — Marquette University is now incorporating fresh, local produce from Hundred Acre into meals at dining halls on campus.
Hundred Acre is an urban, vertical hydroponic farm located in Milwaukee's Century City Business Park. TMJ4 has visited their farms to check out the produce they grow, including genovese basil and a custom salad mix.
"Our farm is designed to handle institutional buying needs," Hundred Acre Founder and Owner Chris Corkery said.
The farm has already partnered with local restaurants, cafes, and non-profits.Corkery said he's excited now to have the opportunity to help feed Marquette students, especially since the university is just five miles away form the farm.
"The two products we offer, it's nothing fancy like a roasted chicken or even strawberries. These are pretty simple products. The greens are a means to an end. We're hoping the basic products find their way into their menu program and they they can streamline and establish it," Corkery said.
Tuesday was the first day Hundred Acre produce appeared on menus at Marquette. For the first day, the university had a special including an Asian chicken salad, strawberry basil lemonade, caprese salad, and bahn mi.
"I had the Asian chicken salad and it was was incredible, it tasted great," said Marquette student Danny Norton.
The university will continue to incorporate the produce into it's daily meal selections and for catering events.
"A lot of our residence and dining halls have daily salad bars so it will be featured in that area, at burger stations, featured items," said General Manager for Dinning at Marquette Melanie Vianes.
Hundred Acres also hopes having its produce on campus also provides a learning experience for students.
"With building a larger foot print farm, that space now becomes a platform for hands-on education and workforce development in the future of ag tech," Corkery said.
Students are already taking notice of the impact having local food in their dining halls can have.
"It's something that I didn't think was important, but seeing the impact it can have on companies that are local to Wisconsin and Milwaukee, I'm starting to realize how incredible it is to have this produce come in, have it served on my plate and be blessed to eat that meal."