|The Long Lane Farm
Club is spearheading the fourth annual Pumpkin Festival Oct. 20 for the
Wesleyan and local community. The event will be held at the student-run Long
Farmers' Market, Cob-Oven Demos at Pumpkin Fest 2007
The Wesleyan community and people from the
surrounding area can paint and purchase pumpkins during the fourth annual
Long Lane Farm Pumpkin Festival Oct. 20.
The event offers educational composting and organic gardening workshops,
beekeeping, pumpkin face painting, tours of the farm, T-shirt designing,
free bike tune-ups, garlic planting, music by student and local bands, games
and a farmer's market, selling farm produce and pumpkins. Long Lane Farm
Club members will also offer demonstrations of the “cob oven” they
constructed last summer.
“Pumpkin Fest is a chance to celebrate fall harvest and the changing of
seasons, to bring together folks with connections to long lane both from
Wesleyan and the broader Middletown sphere, and to make the farm accessible
to students who miss out on the summer season when it is most alive and
productive,” says Long Lane Farm Club member Jordan Schmidt ’08.
Although the farm successfully produces more than 80 different types of
vegetables from eggplants to tomatillos, the pumpkin patch never produced a
successful harvest until this year. Schmidt says the farm will display their
20 “own big beautiful pumpkins” at the fest, and supplement them with
pumpkins and apples grown at an eco-friendly orchard in Meriden, Conn.
The Long Lane Farm was created in 2004 so students would have a place to
come together and learn about food security issues. Students have the
opportunity to participate in all aspects of running the farm.
People of all ages are welcome to participate in Pumpkin Fest activities.
Farm Club member Grace Lesser ’08 says Pumpkin Fest provides an excellent
opportunity to introduce children to organic farming. As a freshman, she
brought a class of students from a local elementary school to Middletown’s
Washington Street Community Garden, and helped them plant a plot with
lettuce, carrots and flowers, and met those students three months later to
harvest to their crops.
“Some of these students had no idea where their vegetables at dinner came
from, and definitely no idea that they could in fact eat food that they,
themselves planted,” Lesser says.
The Long Lane Farming Club is extending festival activities into a series of
other events highlighting the exploration of urban agriculture and broader
On Oct. 18, the farm club and Environmental Studies Certificate Program will
host the agricultural film, "The Future of Food" from 8 to 10 p.m. in PAC
001; on Oct. 19, the Farming Club will meet between 2 and 5 p.m. to make
pizza in their cob oven and work on the farm. At 7 p.m. Oct. 19, Scott
Kellogg, co-founder of the Rhizome Collective, will discuss Urban
Agriculture in the Russell House. The Rhizome Collective operates out of a
self-renovated building in urban Austin, Texas where they work on creating
accessible forms of autonomous energy and growing their own food using
recycled water and nutrients from the available city-scape.
The 2007 Pumpkin Fest will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at the Long Lane
Farm. The farm is located at the corner of Long Lane and Wadsworth Street,
south of Physical Plant and Wesleyan University Press. Admission and
activities are free. This year's special musical guest is the band Busted
”I hope people can come out and have a good time, meet some new folks, share
good food, become familiarized with the fall tasks of organic gardening, and
just feel comfortable hanging out at the farm,” Schmidt says. “
The event is sponsored by the Environmental Studies Certificate Program,
First Year Matters and Student Budget Committee. For more information
contact Valerie Marinelli at 860-685-3733.
By Olivia Bartlett, Wesleyan Connection editor