Garden Celebrates First Fall Harvest

Kettle corn, kale chips, and live music abounded at the Harvard Community Garden’s Harvest Festival, organized to celebrate the end of the garden’s first successful growing season since it was first opened last April.

The three-hour festival was hosted Saturday by the Harvard Community Garden staff and in the garden located on Mt. Auburn Street near Lowell House.

Community members attended the festival, bringing along with them their diverse musical talents and a variety of organic food.

Louisa C. Denison ’11, one of the co-heads of the Harvard Community Garden, put on a performance with her quartet, “Plump Concord,” and a food truck from a soon-to-be-opened restaurant near Harvard Square, Clover Food, sold organic foods made by the Clover Food team.

The festival featured produce from both the garden and local farms, including baked kale chips from the garden and apple cider made on site with apples from Lanni Orchards. Visitors also had a chance to learn about the foods grown in the garden and had a chance to explore the garden beds full of radishes, eggplants, serrano peppers, and other vegetables.

Garden staff members were available to tell visitors about the group’s plans for the garden’s produce and to make them aware of opportunities to volunteer.

Francisco J. Maldonado ’14, one of the volunteers, said that the staff  has not “structured a really efficient way of managing produce so far.”

There are plans to donate some of the food to the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and open a community shop next year that would make organic food accessible and affordable, Maldonado said.

The majority of food grown in the garden is sold to Harvard University Hospitality and Dining Services and featured at Faculty Club, according to Kathleen Frith, acting director of the garden.

Cohen said that the committee overseeing the garden hoped to double its size in the near future, taking of advantage of existing land next to the garden.

The all-volunteer staff has been tending to the garden since last spring.

The raised-bed garden was conceived as a collaborative between several University groups, including the Environmental Action Committee, Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, Office for Sustainability, and Harvard University Hospitality and Dining Services’ Food Literacy Project. The garden aims to create community awareness about the role of food in the environment and its effect on people’s health.

Since last spring, the garden has seen some setbacks, such as the vandalism of several of the plant beds and the theft of the garden’s banner.

According to Rebecca J. Cohen ’12, the setbacks have been relatively minor.

“Overall it’s been an overwhelming success,” Cohen said “The response from the community has been so positive.”

Tags