Students Celebrate Fall with Pumpkin Fest
This Saturday, Long Lane Farm held its ninth annual Pumpkin Fest, the University’s festival to celebrate autumn, organic farming, and sustainable eating. Live music, fresh food, and stands from a variety of sustainability-focused student groups attracted both University students and residents of Middletown.
Pumpkin Fest was put together in a joint effort by the Long Lane Farm student group, the College of the Environment, and Bon Appétit. The event celebrates the transition into autumn along with Long Lane’s yearly fall harvest.
Director of the College of the Environment Barry Chernoff attended the festival and organized and assisted in cooking the free veggie burgers.
“[This event] highlights the importance of eating organic and local foods, while helping to raise money for Long Lane,” Chernoff said.
Last year’s festival was cut short by the unseasonable snowstorm of late October, and Pumpkin Fest this year was held almost a month earlier than usual. Attendees said they particularly noticed the constant live music playing from an array of student bands such as Northpaw, Surprise Guest, and Goodbye Goodbye Penis Penis Penis.
There was also a series of stationary bikes parked behind the stage seats, which had at least a couple of students peddling on them at any given time. The bikes were hooked up to small generators, which were in turn hooked up to a large battery pack. These bikes were part of a student-run effort to make University events more environmentally conscious.
Katie McLaughlin ’15 said that this system, which consists of five bikes and ten generators, was originally constructed as part of a student’s music thesis and has since been used during a couple of shows and film screenings. Though the bikes were only being used to power a small percentage of the music show, McLaughlin said that she hoped the entire event would be pedal-powered next year.
Arrow, a black cow from Ronnybrook Farm, was also present at the festival. Ronnybrook Farm, located in Ancramdale, N.Y., is run by Rick Osofsky ’66 along with his daughter Kate Osofsky ’94. They said that Arrow is one of the many cows who supplies the University with its milk.
Chernoff spent the day serving free veggie burgers and fresh apple cider to all visitors. Next to his stall there was also a fresh fruit market, an organic bake sale, and a stall selling GMO-free smoothies. The festival also had an array of other events, such as tours of Long Lane Farm, tie-dyeing, and an hour of yoga on the grass behind the farm.
“I thought it was a lot of fun,” said Melissa Lowe ’16. “The music was good, and the cow was lovely.”