Fall Farm Fest participants (left to right), Bebe, Renee, Jane, and Weather. Photo credit Sierra Garrett
A cool breeze, sounds of laughter, and the smell of “farm-to-spoon” soup filled the air at Fall Farm Fest on October 29, 2021. This afternoon event, located at The Farm at SOU, held an abundance of fun activities for both SOU students and community members, such as a costume contest, pumpkin painting, club performances, informational booths, and even an exploding pumpkin show put on by the SOU Chemistry Club.
Danni Keys, Community Garden Co-Coordinator for the SOU Sustainability Team, was the main person in charge of putting together this event, and she explained some of her and her team’s goals for Fall Farm Fest. “We do a lot of events, but it’s been hard since COVID to do anything and get a good turnout,” explained Keys, “so we really just wanted to welcome people back, have a fun event, and just… celebrate the fact that we can be around each other again!”
One notable performance that day was made by the SOU Dance Club. Two members of the club provided insight into what the club means to them and why they performed that day. “This is one of the bigger events that the Sustainability Center is doing this fall,” said Dance Club member Samuel Rose, “and we’re working on really rebuilding Dance Club since COVID was pretty hard on us.” Dance Club member Katya Gustafson reaffirmed that goal, stating “we’re getting back into the swing of things with COVID and so we’re just trying to… get our grip again and get it moving in a positive direction.” Both students have been taking tap classes for years, but Katya works on reassuring potential Dance Club members that prior experience is not needed: “It’s just an outlet and we want people to be able to have somewhere to go that feels supportive.”
After not being able to celebrate a proper Halloween for over a year, participants were more than excited to take part in the enticing costume contest and variety of activities that were provided that day. One student, Bebe, took pleasure in the “autumn soup” that was made from ingredients grown right on The Farm. Bebe also appreciated the fact that there was a table provided by the Queer Resource Center, saying that it was “really nice that that they [provided] little buttons and resources.”
Not only was it a pleasure to see SOU students taking part in this event, but it was just as nice to see community members enjoying the celebration. Many young Ashland residents donned their Halloween costumes a few days early to join in the festivities, an action that awarded one young ‘Harry Potter’ a prize in the event’s costume contest. Community collaboration isn’t a new concept for SOU events, Keys explained, “We like to invite as many people as possible and give knowledge to what the Sustainability Team does as well as what The Farm at SOU does.”
If you would like to learn more about how to get involved with the Sustainability Team/Student Sustainability Center, visit this link.