Sterling College has the most progressive food service of any college in the country. We grow a significant percentage of our own food, and source as much local food as possible. Our food is creative, healthy, dynamic, and inspired by the direction of American cuisine and cuisines of the world.
We do not use a food-service company. Instead, our chefs work alongside students to cook healthy, creative, and delicious meals. Our kitchen staff works hard to uphold the kitchen’s Vision Statement:
“The mission of Sterling’s Food Service is to manage the food system as an integral part of our educational programs by demonstrating a living-what-we-teach philosophy.”
Our kitchen best demonstrates this philosophy through composting, conserving energy and resources, eating seasonally, preparing our food from scratch, and recycling.
Sustainable Menu Design
The kitchen at Sterling produces consistently amazing food using almost all local ingredients, 20% coming right from our own farms. Each week the kitchen designs a new menu based on seasonal and local availability of ingredients. There are no set menus here! This revolutionary approach to menu design not only keeps the cooks’ team on their toes, it is the most sustainable way to support local economies and decrease our carbon “foodprint” when sourcing and ordering product.
Sterling Grown and Sterling Cooked
Sterling grown vegetables, meat, and poultry get first priority in the kitchen. This ensures we are using the absolute freshest ingredients. Aside from an occasional trip to the butcher, we typically use zero fossil fuel to transport Sterling Grown products to the kitchen. Growing, preparing, and eating our products defines our community at Sterling College: We truly work, live, and eat within a food system.
We work hard to provide organic food as often as possible without falling into the trap of buying organic shipped in from far away. Most of the food we source locally is responsibly produced, if not “certified” organic. We also strive to provide organic grains, nuts, beans, flour and cereal as well as many other organic products whenever possible.
Sterling has a long history of supporting the surrounding community. As one of the few colleges in the country that runs its own kitchen, we extend that support by buying produce and products from our neighbors and local producers throughout the year.
- Brault’s Slaughterhouse, Troy, local beef and pork
- Brown’s Blueberries, Craftsbury, blueberries!
- Butterworks Farm, Westfield, awesome, whole milk yogurt, beans, cream, cornmeal and flour (when available)
- Champlain Orchards, Shoreham, apples from August to late June, cider, butternut squash puree and apple sauce
- Kingdom Maple, maple syrup
- Pete’s Greens, Craftsbury, tomatoes, summer and winter greens, roots, pork
- Wild Branch Farm, Craftsbury, specialty meat (aka, the fancy stuff)
- Vermont Soy, Hardwick, tofu and soy milk
- Strafford Organic Creamery, milk
- Gopher Broke Farm, poultry
- Hall’s Orchard, apples
- Greenfield Highland Beef, beef
- Boyden Farm, beef
- Rhapsody Natural Foods, tempeh
- The Farm at Wolcott Pond—Wolcott VT. Nick Augsberger, Sterling alum. Produce
- Green Mountain Farm Direct. All locally sourced products.
- Jasper Hill Farm. Greensboro Bend, VT.
- Strafford Organic Creamery. Strafford, VT. Milk
- LeBlanc Family Farm—East Hardwick—Pork
- Sweet Rowen Farmstead—West Glover, VT. Paul Lisai, Sterling alum. Dairy and cheese
- Champlain Orchards—Shoreham, VT— Apples
- Scott Farm Orchard—Dummerston, VT—Apples
- Robert Linck, Sterling alum—Craftsbury, VT. Greens
- Peace of Earth Farm—Albany, VT. Sprouts
- Spring Hill Angus. Orleans, Vermont. Beef
Other Vermont businesses and producers
- Cabot Creamery, cheese, butter, cottage cheese and sour cream
- King Arthur Flour, white, wheat and pastry flours
- Maple Meadow Farm, eggs
- Sheffield Seitan, seitan
- VT Butter and Cheese Creamery, chevre
- Misty Knoll Farm, poultry