Fresh farm food and live music will be available at the second annual Harvest Festival, hosted on Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Student Farm with the goal of giving back to the community.
“The Harvest Fest was started last year to thank everyone across the Penn State and State College communities who supported the Student Farm throughout our first year of harvesting, and to celebrate the beginning of the fall season,” Olivia Hort, Student Farm communications intern, said.
The event also serves as an open house for members of the community to explore the farm and learn about sustainable agriculture and food systems, Hort (senior-public relations) said.
With the focus on sustainable agriculture, the club has altered the event from last year to make it even more environmentally friendly.
“The major change this year is our effort to make the festival a zero waste to the landfill event,” Hort said. “Last year, club leadership felt the event produced too much waste from both trash and food.”
The Student Farm is working with OPP and Campus Catering to have compostable plates, cups and utensils. To minimize the food waste, the club is also asking people who plan on attending the event to RSVP online.
The food is the part attendees, such as club president Carissa Heine, seem to be the most excited about.
“I’m super excited for the food,” Heine (senior-public relations) said. “I love cooking with food from the farm, so I’m excited to see what PSU catering comes up with.”
There will be more traditional dishes with veggies, like tomatoes and cucumbers, but also more unique dishes that include plants such as nasturtium or edible flowers, Hort said. The event staff is working to get a big turnout through advertising not only the food, but the other activities too.
“We are doing our best to promote the event as much as possible and through diverse avenues so that as many know about it is as possible,” Heine said. “We are hoping that better weather, more visibility and better promotion bring over 400 people to the event this year, setting a new record.”
One of the advertising aspects is the fact that the club is offering free transportation to and from the event, located in the Creamery parking lot.
The ultimate goal is to get as many people experiencing the event as possible.
“I think the Harvest Festival is not only an opportunity for us to show thanks and appreciation to those who support the farm, but also a way to bring together people across the community,” Hort said.
“To meet and share delicious food, listen to live music and learn more about the growing campus food system here at Penn State.”