Terp Farm Fall Harvest Festival: Eat More, Waste Less
The Farm is a well-loved spot on campus. Serving as a nod to the University of Maryland’s agricultural roots and a welcomed distraction from classes (particularly when the spring’s baby animals make an appearance), most students have been there at least once. Despite the campus farm’s popularity, few students are aware of the University’s other agricultural projects like Terp Farm: a collaborative, sustainable farming project just fifteen miles from campus in Upper Marlboro, MD. The Terp Farm Fall Harvest Festival aimed to change this. On Friday, October 9th, the University of Maryland community was invited to the Terp Farm to explore and learn what it is all about. Many QUESTees were excited about this opportunity and decided to travel together for an afternoon of food and fun.
During the Terp Farm Fall Harvest Festival, QUEST members had a chance to participate in a number of activities, both educational and fun. Activities included farm trivia, where participants were asked to identify different types of plants and seeds to win farm-themed prizes and fall classics such as pumpkin painting and cornhole, which kept visitors busy while waiting for walking tours of the farm. Ultimately, however, the Terp Farm is all about producing top quality produce, and it delivered in spades during the festival.
The Green Tiding’s food truck is easy to spot around campus and offers students a welcomed change of pace from dining hall food using produce grown on the Terp Farm. While it has inspired its fair share of impulse snack breaks, it is, unfortunately for students, not covered by the University dining plan. But at the Terp Farm Fall Harvest Festival, Green Tiding’s provided each guest with a voucher for a free lamb or vegetable sandwich, garlic french fries, and hot apple cider. The queue for the Food Truck spoke to the quality, and while an argument could be make for each item being the best, QUEST Program Coordinator Jessica Macklin’s favorite were “the fries, always!”
In addition to the Green Tiding’s food truck, there were a variety of other snacks and treats made from produce grown on the farm, such as edamame hummus and fresh salsa. These snacks tempered hungry stomachs while waiting in the line for Green Tiding’s and provided stiff competition for best food at the festival.
Visitors also got the chance to provide feedback on their favorite apple and pear in a taste test where each person was asked to sample three slices of apples or pears and then select their favorite. This helped the farm decide which fruits would best serve the community, and also gave taste-testers a chance to learn a bit about their flavor palate.
“I learned that I have a ‘New England’ apple preference, which makes sense because I’m from upstate New York,” said Kylie King, QUEST’s Program Director.
Overall, the Terp Farm Fall Harvest Festival gave the QUEST community a fun, relaxing opportunity to share laughs, good food, and a gorgeous Friday afternoon. It was also a good reminder that no matter how diverse QUEST is, we can all still appreciate food fresh from the farm.