UCSC Farm hosts Fall Harvest Festival on September 30

The Fall Harvest Festival is a wonderful community and campus tradition, and a great way to enjoy the 30-acre organic farm.

September 06, 2018


Get your organic pumpkins at the UCSC Farm's Fall Harvest Festival on September 30. Photo by Steve Kurtz.
Explore the 30-acre UCSC Farm during the Fall Harvest Festival. Photo by Steve Kurtz.
Enter your favorite apple pie recipe in the 17th annual Apple Pie Contest.

Celebrate the abundance of the fall harvest at UC Santa Cruz’s 30-acre organic farm, one of the Monterey Bay region’s most beautiful and abundant locations. Fresh produce, live music, farm tours, cooking demonstrations, and much more await visitors at the UCSC Farm & Garden’s Fall Harvest Festival, coming up on Sunday, September 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival features live musical performances by The Naked Bootleggers and Whiskey West, along with an open mic session. Also on tap: hay rides, kids’ crafts, workshops, food sales, organic pumpkin, produce, and flower sales, flower crown making, and campus and community group information tables.

Festival organizer Margaret Bishop says “The Harvest Festival is a time to celebrate the abundance of the summer and to plant seeds for the coming year! It’s an event that brings the Santa Cruz community and UCSC students together to get to know the farm—everyone can find something that sparks their interest at the farm, and it’s a wonderful way to spend time and build community at this beautiful place of learning.”

Visitors of all ages are invited to sample apples, try their hand at pressing cider, make a flower crown wreath, enter the pie baking contest, and enjoy locally sourced, tasty treats. The festival will also feature a produce sale with organically raised pumpkins along with dry-farmed tomatoes and other fresh fruits and vegetables.

Other activities include workshops on making sourdough bread, promoting garden pollinators, canning tomatoes, and learning about famine foods, along with guided tours of the farm, and a medicinal herb talk and walk through the garden.

For more fall fun, there will also be an open mic opportunity. If you'd like to share a live performance, please fill out the google form.

Want so see how your favorite apple pie recipe measures up? Be sure to enter the Apple Pie Contest by 12:30 p.m. (see rules, below). The first ten entrants receive a gift certificate for free apples, and there are some great prizes!

Admission is free for UCSC students with current ID, kids 12 and under, and members of the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden; general admission is $5.

The Harvest Festival is cosponsored by the UCSC Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), the UCSC Food Systems Working Group (FSWG), UCSC’s Measure 43, and the Friends of the UCSC Farm & Garden.

For directions to the UCSC Farm, visit the CASFS web site. 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.



Music Variety from the Field to FSWG’s Fork! 11:15 – 12:30

The Naked Bootleggers  12:45 – 2:15

Farm Fresh Open Mic Adventure  2:30 – 3:30

Whiskey West  3:45 – 5:00

Workshops & Activities

Farm & Garden Produce Sales  11:00 – 5:00

Apple Variety Tasting  11:30 – 4:30

Kneeding a Baking Revolution with Sourdough!  12:00 – 1:00
Food Systems Working Group & CASFS

Apple Pie Contest Bake-Off (entry deadline)  12:30

Tours of the UCSC Farm  12:30 & 4 pm

Getting Down to the Bees Knees –
Promoting Garden Pollinators 1:15 – 2:15
Food Systems Working Group & Project Pollinate

Famine Foods  2:30 – 3:30
Pao Lebron and Rio Molina, Farmers of the Global Majority 

Herb Talk & Walk through the Garden  2:30 – 3:30
Darren Huckle, Western/Chinese herbalist & licensed acupuncturist

Preserving Summer’s Bounty: Canning Tomatoes  3:45 – 4:45
Lucas Hill, CASFS Farm & Garden

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

Pie entries accepted 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Official judging begins at 12:45 p.m.

Winners will be announced at between 2 p.m. 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 & Garden will assign each contestant a number. Contestants should verify that 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 consumed during judging will be returned to the contestant.

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