PITTSFORD, N.Y. — Nazareth University is taking the phrase "farm to table" to the the next level, starting at the pizza station.  

What You Need To Know

  • Babylon micro-farms grows fresh herbs and vegetables on campus

  • Installed in January at Nazareth University

  • Fresh herbs are used in meals in dining center on campus

Fresh is best for Philip Realbuto and for the students he serves as pizza chef at Nazareth. 

"I’m old fashioned, I like the fresh stuff," said Realbuto. "I go to Italy, to see what pizzerias are doing and I like to introduce them here."

On the menu this week? A margarita pizza made with fresh basil, which is grown just steps away. 

"I picked the basil this morning from the case," said Realbuto. 

It's grown in the Babylon micro-farm. Installed in January, it’s the newest addition to the dining center at Nazareth. The goal of it? Provide fresh ingredients to students year-round that are grown locally and sustainably. 

"Even within the community there’s gas involved; trucks involved. This is all grown right here," said Brian McGahan, director of campus operations. 

The micro-farm grows anything from herbs to lettuce to flowers. The basil is the farm’s first harvest. With just few snips later, it’s making its way into the dishes for students. 

Nazareth is part of a handful of campuses across the country that have partnered with Babylon, a partnership that’s already making a difference in Chef Realbuto's creations. 

"The basil, it’s right there. I don’t have to rely on if the delivery is on time or not," said Realbuto. 

It gives him and the other chefs at Nazareth more time to showcase the fresh ingredients they love.