Food Next Door works with the UCCS farm to bring nutritious and fresh food to the main dining hall on campus: Roaring Fork. We pride ourselves that approximately 90% of our meals are locally sourced. A big component of having nutritious, fresh and flavorful food is having the best sources. We get our produce straight from the farms, both on campus and from both the Arkansas and Rio Grande watersheds. Each week the UCCS farm creates an order form based on what is ready for harvest. We use as much of the produce as we can; what we can not utilize gets implemented into Dining and Hospitality Services catering events. The harvest list is always changing, which makes the Food Next Door Menu ever changing. This unpredictability allows us to get creative and illustrate what it’s truly like going from “farm to table”.
Since our meal production is for 100+ individuals, we can not rely entirely on the produce grown at the UCCS farm. We also source our food from the Arkansas Valley Organic Growers cooperative. The AVOG CO-OP is a group of farmers within the Arkansas River Valley Watershed. Some of the farms include Frost Farm in Hanover, Hobbs & Meyer Farms in Avondale, Larga Vista Ranch in Boone, New Roots Farm in Canon City, Osito Orchard in Hotchkiss, Ring-a-Ding Farms in Howard and Weathervane Farm in Buena Vista. In addition to these farmers, we also source food from nearby San Luis Valley which has a rich agricultural history and well-known Valley Roots Food Hub. Both AVOG and Valley Roots collaborate under the cooperative Tap Root.
Our mission of bringing delicious, local food could not be accomplished without the support of the students, staff, community members and farmers.
Monday: Sports Nutrition graduate students/Farm staff harvest produce in the morning. It then gets transported to Roaring Fork where the FND team and volunteers prep the freshly harvested produce for Tuesday night’s service.
Tuesday: Food Next Door serves during the dinner service at Roaring Fork to students, staff and community members. Taste education is also given to students and staff to increase their knowledge about sustainable food sources.
Wednesday-Friday: Sports Nutrition graduate students meet and collaborate with one another and the UCCS farm to see what will be available the upcoming week and what next tasty meal we can make!