About 200 people gathered at the Campus Farm for the 8th Annual Harvest Festival, with live musician performances, farm tours, free food, pumpkin painting and many other sustainable activities.
MDining was a sponsor of the Harvest Festival. Concord and empire apples were on the table as well as a concoction of barley with vegetables and many other ingredients from the campus farm.
Pumpkin painting was the main activity that attracted many students and Ann Arbor residents. The pumpkins were donated to Harvest Festival by Slow Farms, an organic farm in Ann Arbor that handpicks all of its harvest.
Many clubs and organizations set up tables at the Harvest Festival to spread the word about their initiatives to help the environment, including Maize and Blue Pantry and UMBees.
UMBees is a student organization that has bees at the campus farm and wanted to make people aware of their initiatives. Public Health junior Emily Chang, a member of UMBees, said her club is trying to raise awareness of the significance of bees and pollination.
“Our main function is to educate the campus and the local community about bees and other pollinators and their importance,” Cheng said. “We often take small groups out when the weather is nice, and we take a hive apart and see what goes on in it.”
During the tour of the Campus Farm, participants got a look at the four greenhouses that are used to grow produce for the University’s dining hall.
Rackham student Jason Putty said he was a first-timer to the Harvest Festival and was looking forward to learning about Ann Arbor’s environmentally friendly initiatives.
“I wanted to (come and) explore the farm,” Putti said. “I’m into agriculture and stuff like that. It’s been really good. I haven’t been around much, but I’m looking forward to the farm tour.”
Faculty members from the University also came out to Harvest Festival to support the Campus Farm. Bill Burgard, an Art & Design professor, has attended the event several times and said he is always excited to see what has changed and what has stayed the same.
“I came last year and I liked this farm,” Burgard said. “I think it’s cool that all the different things that they grow here, and dining is going to have something good to eat, and I always try to find out things about sustainability. I know there’s a lot of information, and I want to find out what is happening this year.”