With clear skies above, leaves crunching underfoot, and a touch of warmth in the air, students, faculty, and members of the Middletown community arrived at Long Lane Organic Farm on Saturday, Oct. 25 to celebrate the annual Pumpkin Fest. Beginning at noon and extending into the late afternoon, the event showcased live music, food stands, and free hot apple cider and veggie burgers in honor of the harvest season.
Vendors included Raw You-niverse, specializing in raw, organic smoothies; Challah for Hunger, offering its signature braided bread; and, of course, students selling Long Lane pumpkins of all sizes from the back of a pickup truck. Additionally, Long Lane volunteers provided fresh produce harvested by hand from the farm.
Wesleyan’s Climate Ambassadors were also in attendance as representatives of 2 Degrees Food, a company that manufactures healthy vegan and gluten-free snack bars. The Climate Ambassadors gave away cherry-almond and apple-pecan bars, two of the four varieties available, in an effort to promote the charitable goals of the company.
“The company is partnered with various non-profit organizations that provide meals for hungry children around the world,” said Rachael Metz ’16, one of the Climate Ambassadors who helped work the booth. “When you purchase a bar, they will provide one meal [to a child.] I am particularly interested in the hunger and food insecurity sector of public health, so I was happy to help represent this company at [Pumpkin Fest].”
While local and student bands took turns sharing the stage, attendees were encouraged to contribute some extra power to the sound system by pedaling on one of the stationary bikes that powered the speakers.
Overall, this year’s Pumpkin Fest helped to foster a strong sense of community, catering to the tastes of all generations who came out to participate.
“Pumpkin Fest is always a fantastic event, especially because the weather was so beautiful,” Metz said. “I love being in an environment where people are appreciating the outdoors and the fall beauty that Middletown offers. Pumpkin Fest was a great success, and hopefully next year even more students will show up to experience the beauty of fall at the farm.”
Ilana Ladis ’17, another attendee, had a similar reaction.
“My favorite part of Pumpkin Fest was the food and the all-around good vibes,” Ladis said. “Autumn is my favorite season, and I loved celebrating it at Long Lane.”