UCSC Farm hosts Fall Harvest Festival Sunday, October 12

Highlights of 20th annual event include live music, food, apple tasting, apple pie bake-off, garden talks, hay rides, crafts for kids, and tours

boy on tractor
Visitors of all ages can sample more than 25 apple varieties, savor roasted peppers, enter the pie baking contest, try pressing cider, scale a climbing wall, or even pretend to drive a tractor.

Fall has arrived and it’s time to celebrate the changing seasons at the 20th annual Fall Harvest Festival, coming up on Sunday, October 12, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at UC Santa Cruz’s 30-acre organic farm.

The festival features live music from marimba to reggae to bluegrass, including a headliner performance by Dylan McDonald and the Avians. Also on tap: hay rides, kids’ crafts, workshops, pumpkin and produce sales, wine and campus and community group information tables. New this year will be the chance for those 21 and over to taste wine from local wineries Odonata, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyards, and Sones (ID required).

Visitors of all ages are invited to sample apples and roasted pepper varieties, enter the pie baking contest, try their hand at pressing cider, scale the climbing wall, pick sunflowers and make a "bike smoothie" as part of the "Food, What?!" youth group's fundraiser, and enjoy locally sourced, tasty treats.

Workshops on making guacamole, growing and using peppers, saving seeds, baking apple crisp using acorn flower and a solar oven, and preparing your garden for fall and winter are also on the schedule, along with farm tours and an herb walk through the garden.

Want so see how your favorite apple pie recipe measures up? Be sure to enter the Apple Pie Contest by 12:30 pm (see rules, below).

Admission is free for UCSC students, kids 12 and under, and members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden; general admission is $5. See below for a full schedule of the day's events.

The Harvest Festival is cosponsored by the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), UCSC’s Measure 43, and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden, with major support from Driscoll’s and Veritable Vegetable. People Power will provide free valet parking for bicycles.

For directions to the UCSC Farm, visit the CASFS web site a  http://casfs.ucsc.edu/about/directions.html. Free parking will be available at the Campus Facilities and Barn Theater parking lots, and a free shuttle will be available. For more information call (831) 459-3240 or email casfs@ucsc.edu.

2014 Harvest Festival Schedule

Music, Main Stage

Ben Davis, acoustic guitar 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Sadza Marimba 12:45 – 2 p.m.
Ancestree Reggae 2:15 – 3:30 p.m.
Dylan McDonald & The Avians 3:50- 5 p.m.

Workshops and activities

Roasted Pepper and Apple Variety Tasting

11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Holy Moly Guacamole – Alyssa Billys, Food System Working Group
Noon – 1 p.m.
Apple Pie Contest Bake-Off (entry deadline)
12:30 p.m.
Tours of the UCSC Farm – Farm & Garden docents 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Planting the Fall/Winter Garden

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Herb Talk & Walk through the Garden – Darren Huckle, Western/Chinese herbalist & licensed acupuncturist 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Seed Saving Workshop, Conner Spears, Demeter Seed Library

2:30 –3:15 p.m.
Pepper Talk: Varieties of the Farm and Garden – Orin Martin, Alan Chadwick Garden manager 3:15 – 3:4 p.m.
Taste of the Oaks: Sun-Baked Acorn Flour Crisp,
 – Leah Walsh, UCSC grad and chef
3:45 – 4:30 p.m.

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

Pie entries accepted October 12, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Official judging begins at 12:45 p.m.
Winners will be announced at between 2 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 and Garden will assign each contestant a number. Contestants should verify 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 used during judging will be returned to the contestant.

All pies must be entered by 12:30 p.m. Sunday, October 12, 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