Shine Well at CSU- Cooking Class










A program geared towards utilizing Cleveland State University’s (CSU) FarmBot along with showing students the path to a healthy future on a budget is ramping up for spring at the CENTERS at CSU Recreation Center. CSU’s Farmbot made its debut last summer and is located on the CSU Recreation Center’s green roof. While it looks much like a regular garden you might see, it is controlled by a robotic farming machine and corresponding software.

CSU’s green roof is also part of additional health and wellness programming as part of CENTERS at CSU Rec’s Shine Well Program.


CENTERS at CSU green roofKatie Blodorn, CSU’s Assistant Director for Fitness and Wellness Programming partnered with local CSU alumni Sara Contineza’s Food Strong, whose mission is to utilize fresh local food to empower, educate, and cultivate health in communities across our region, to conduct cooking demonstrations for students. “Through this initiative, we have been able to meet monthly, truly connect as community partners and serve students,” Katie Blodorn said. “Without them, we wouldn’t be here.”

To date, three culinary arts workshops have been taught, focused on educating students on how to prepare healthy dishes using affordable ingredients. Some dishes include pumpkin soup, vegetable curry pot pie, fire cider, and healthier holiday cookies. 

Judy Ausherman, Associate Professor of Health Education at Cleveland State University champions the life skills students can take from these cooking demonstrations, “Students are not being taught how to cook in schools, and we feel it is important to offer a healthy alternative for students living on campus,” she said.  


The green roof project continues to expand. Aided by the Farmbot program, the garden providesFarmBot in action at CSU green roof an oasis in the urban landscape that produces herbs and vegetables grown in-house. Additionally, the program provides an excellent opportunity for students to know where their food comes from. This spring, CSU’s Engineering Senior Design team is working on a project called FarmBot to the Max with the goal to build a second Farmbot on the Green Roof location so more produce can be grown and eventually distributed to the Lift Up Vikes, CSU’s food pantry.