The Observer

Farm Harvest Festival encourages students to live sustainably

Tracy Wang, Staff Reporter

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On Saturday, Sept. 22, Case Western Reserve University Student Sustainability Council (SCC) and the Farm Administration celebrated the ninth annual Farm Harvest Festival at Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farms which aimed to increase CWRU’s environmental responsibility by informing the campus community about sustainable practices and facilitating sustainable behaviors and attitudes. Students, faculty, staff and alumni had fun learning about farm resources and ways to make the world a little greener.

After hopping off the bus, each person got a small passport that showed the map of the farm, the activities and the scheduled events. Students could collect stamps from different activity locations, return the completed passport to the registration desk for a prize and enter a lottery for Mitchell’s Ice Cream and Jolly Scholar gift cards.

Students could choose from a variety of food options for lunch. Options included garden salad, vegetable chili, apples from Patterson’s Fruit Farm and apple fritters from Raised and Glazed Donuts. Water and apple cider were available to drink. After lunch, there was Mitchell’s Homemade ice cream for everyone on the lawn. Notably, everything in the dining hall, including the wooden utensils, was compostable. While eating their food, people enjoyed performances by Case in Point, Solstice, CWRU Pep Band, Case Men’s Glee Club, Spartan Bhangra, Dhamakapella, Case Kismat Fusion Dance Team and other campus organizations on the dining hall stage.  

Aside from eating, students were encouraged to attend different activities. They could spend the  whole afternoon learning to knit or they could plant basil in a small pot to take home. Outdoors, the CWRU Judo Club was teaching basic judo moves, and Badminton Club had a net up for casual games of badminton.

One popular attraction was a small petting zoo featuring a pony, a cow and a rabbit among others.The hayride was another popular event, but several students complained that the wait was too long, as the tractor returned only every twenty minutes. Third-year student Mocun Ye said he would rather spend time walking in the tall grass maze.

“It’s so relaxing to walk past the tall grass on a nice Saturday afternoon,” said Ye.

Students also got to experience sustainable skincare through free samples of beeswax lip balm and learning how to swap microbeads with organic alternatives. Third-year computer science major Caitlin Campbell has worked as a volunteer for two years. This year, she helped make the beeswax lip balm.

“This is my second Farm Harvest Festival, and I love it,” said Campbell. “It makes it really easy for students to get connected to nature and sustainability in new and unusual ways. I volunteered last year because it’s a great way to get Greek service hours in, but it turned out to be really fun.”

CWRU’s University Farm provides a variety of produce to Bon Appetit, so much of the produce students eat every day at Leutner Commons and Fribley Marche is local.  

For its ten-year anniversary next year, SSC hopes to expand the Farm Harvest Festival.

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Farm Harvest Festival encourages students to live sustainably