Virginia Tech Dining Services has launched a new dining venue in Owens Food Court called the Farms and Fields Project, dedicated to serving local, organic, and sustainably produced food.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Monday, April 20, followed by a presentation from the Virginia Tech Dining Services sustainability coordinator and a Local Growers Panel of representatives from farms that supply products to the Farms and Fields Project.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. at the shop location, will feature free passed hors d'oeuvres made from local and organic products, and students may enter to win one of two Food Sustainability Starter Kits that will include seeds, a kitchen composter, the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and a book on organic gardening.

There will be an Eat and Greet presentation with Andy Sarjahani, Virginia Tech Dining Services sustainability coordinator, at 4 p.m. in Squires Student Center’s Brush Mountain Room A. He will address common questions students ask about sustainability efforts in the campus dining halls, including questions about foam carry-out containers, how to get more local and sustainably produced foods on campus, and current sustainability efforts.

The Local Growers Panel features representatives from Bright Farm, Five Penny Farm, and Full Circle Organic Farm in Floyd County, Va., and Grayson Natural Foods LLC in Grayson County, Va., some of which provide food for the Farms and Fields Project shop. From 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Owens Food Court, panelists will speak about the obstacles of bringing local foods to big campuses like Virginia Tech’s from a grower’s perspective.

The Farms and Fields Project opened Jan. 20 in Owens Food Court on the Virginia Tech campus and serves locally sourced, organic, and sustainably grown food Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner. The venue has a blog written by sustainability coordinator Sarjahani that lists each week’s menu and features information about sustainable dining, local food sources, and food policy. Visit the blog online.

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