UMD’s annual Farm Fest features fresh produce, live entertainment

 Illustration by: Rebecca Kottke

Illustration by: Rebecca Kottke

UMD’s Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) will be hosting its fourth annual Farm Fest on Sunday, Sept. 17 from 12-4 p.m.

Farm Fest will be held on the SAP Farm, located a few miles north of campus on Riley Road.  The event will feature a farm fresh buffet, farmer’s market, and interactive lessons on organic farming and sustainability, led by UMD professors. Unlike past years, the event will not be including a 5k, opting to focus more on educating those who attend.

“In past years we’ve had a 5k, but we did away with that this year because we felt that at UMD, what we excel at the most is education, so we focused more that way,” said Alyssa Hammitt, UMD Dining Services dietitian.

Farm Fest serves as a fundraiser for the SAP Farm, with proceeds going back into the farm. Hammitt said that the event is a great way to enlighten the community about the project.

“Dining Services has graciously donated all the food for the event, so all the proceeds go directly to the farm,” Hammitt said, who was active in planning the event. “[The event] is really just to raise awareness for what the farm does and all the great work that all the students are doing.”

Dining Services and the SAP Farm have a history of collaboration, with Dining Services purchasing produce from the farm. The farm has also received support from the community, drawing large crowds in past years. Farm Fest has had major success in previous years, with attendance continuing to grow.  Hammitt said that last year had twice the expected audience.

“It has just been growing and growing and growing,” Hammitt said. “It’s hard to estimate how many people we had there, but we had food for 250 and we sold out in about an hour.”

UMD professors will teach lessons on farming and host arts and crafts sessions.  At 2 p.m., the Magic Smelt Puppet Troupe will present their pageant “What’s an Onion?”. The event will also feature music from KUMD and the Boardwalk Brass Band, according to the event’s Facebook page. Produce from the farm will be sold at the on-site farmer’s market. Food will be served from 12-2 p.m., with farm fresh meals priced at $10 for adults or $5 for students and kids under age 12. The event is free and open to the public.

Read more about UMD’s SAP Farm, also called the Land Lab, here.

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