UCSC Harvest Festival with organic food, farm tours, and apple pie contest

Demonstrations of apple pressing to make cider is one of the activities at the Harvest Festival (Photo by Weston Monroe)

The 18th annual UCSC Harvest Festival, held at the campus’ 25-acre organic farm, is fun for the whole family and includes an apple pie contest, organic food, farm tours, and kids’ activities. Admission varies between free and $5; general public adult admission is $5 but it’s free for
UCSC students with ID, kids 12 and under, and members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

The event is on Sunday, September 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s simultaneously a celebration, an opportunity to eat lots of locally sourced food including organic corn, and a chance to learn about a range of food and environmental issues. It’s co-sponsored by the UCSC’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), UCSC’s Food Systems Working Group, UCSC Measure 43: Sustainable Health & Wellness, and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

In addition to the apple pie bake-off (see rules below) and farm tours, activities include hay rides, face painting and kids’ crafts, garden talks, food and organic produce for sale, and live music. And you can sample more than 30 different apple varieties! There will be workshops on saving seeds, planting the fall garden, making kombucha and vegan wraps and burritos, and “cupping” the perfect cup of coffee. Life Lab’s “Food, What?” youth empowerment group will hold a sunflower-picking fundraiser in the Farm’s fields.

For those unfamiliar with CASFS, its research and education programs include the UCSC Farm, the Alan Chadwick Garden, and the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture. The apprenticeship program is a 6-month, full-time organic training program. Upwards of 1,300 people have graduated from the apprenticeship.

For more info, call (831) 459-3240 or visit the CASFS web site. If you drive, free parking will be available at the Campus Facilities and Barn Theater parking lots, and a free shuttle will be running. If you bike to the event, your bike will be “valet parked” by local organization People Power.

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2012 Harvest Festival Schedule


The Ashley Lloyd Experience 11 a.m. – noon

Ancestree Reggae 12:15 – 1:30 p.m.

Bean Creek 1:45 – 3 p.m.

Singing Wood Marimba 3:15 – 5 p.m.

Workshops and Activities

Apple Tasting: Varieties grown at the UCSC Farm and Alan Chadwick Garden 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Apple Pie Contest entry deadline 12:30 p.m.; winners announced between 2 and 3 p.m.

Kombucha Making 12:00 p.m.

Tours of the UCSC Farm 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Grubbin’ It Raw Vegan Style: Wraps and Collard Green Burritos 1:15 – 2:15

Seed Stewardship: The Art of Cultivating, Breeding, and Saving Locally Adapted and Open-Pollinated Seeds 2:30 – 3:30

Coffee Cupping for the Perfect Cup 3:30 – 4:00

Planting the Fall Garden, with Trish Hildinger 3:45 – 4:45

Official Rules for the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden Apple Pie Contest

Pie entries accepted 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Official judging begins at 12:45 p.m.

Winners will be announced at between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

1. The Friends of Farm and Garden Apple Pie Bake-Off is a nonprofessional baking competition open to Harvest Festival attendees (entry to the Harvest Festival is $5; free admission for UCSC students, Friends of the Farm & Garden members and for children 12 and under).

2. Contestants are responsible for submitting a written (preferably typed) recipe with their pie.

3. Contestants are responsible for supplying all ingredients and baking the pie prior to bringing it to the contest.

4. All entries in this contest must be homemade.

5. A representative of the Friends of the Farm & Garden will assign each contestant a number. Contestants should verify that the number on the bottom of their container is the same number assigned by the representative.

6. Contestants’ entries are judged on taste, presentation, and creativity.

7. The decision of the judges shall be final. Pie not consumed during judging will be returned to the contestant.

All pies must be entered by 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 30, at the Fall Harvest Festival, UCSC Farm. For questions or additional copies of the rules, call (831) 459-3240 or e-mail casfs@ucsc.edu.