Chatham Food Hub: Green Panda Farms

The Chatham Food Hub project emerged at a time when it was most needed. Led by Eleanor Wertman, MPH (Program Manager, Community Health at UNC Health Alliance | Population Health Services), it is a significant and innovative project melding food, drink, chefs, and community. Our hospitality businesses (caterers, restaurateurs, chefs, farmers) will serve guests Wednesdays in Siler City at Bray Park this summer.

Our Chatham Food Hub series profiles all the charter members of this drive-through food court, with pre-orders taken online.

Navy veteran farmer, Tenita Solanto, celebrates sustainability in business and lifestyle. A Chatham County resident, she has a commitment to her craft and clients with the same fervor she infuses into all her work tasks. Tenita has a military and IT background, with a range of business skills. A workshop she led for farmers, teaching them business basics, resulted in engaging discussions that educated her and inspired Green Panda Farms.

A year-round farm, growing microgreens in her greenhouse, is a place with potential and, much like any farm, hard work. The premise behind these microgreens is healthy eating, and not just salads. The pea tendrils, peppery radish trio, and other selections are versatile for juices, omelets, sandwiches, pizzas, and burgers.

Why the panda? Pandas represented happiness when Tenita was exploring an image to display and the goodness, health, and well-being that she wants to share with every customer is her inspiration to continue to learn and expand. The Green Panda Farms team has put in many hours to complete tasks that are hands-on, and many of the projects are first-time attempts, tackling a challenge, driven by motivation.

Tenita was the first farmer to join the Chatham Food Hub and has plenty of plans to keep growing microgreens, her business, and collaborations with initiatives focused on health and wellness.

About the Hub
Contact us for details about contributing to the Chatham Food Hub. Special thanks to Eleanor Wertman, Program Manager, Community Health, UNC Health Alliance | Population Health Services and The Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. All vendors are encouraged to join the Count On Me NC initiative, a joint effort created by government and health officials in partnership with industry leaders from across the state.

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