On Saturday, Sustainable University of Redlands Farm (SURF) hosted the annual Farm Fest welcoming students, parents, alumni, and community members.
According to the university’s website, SURF is “a natural farm that works to uphold the principles of sustainable agriculture.”
SURF is located behind the Brockton apartments and grows a variety of produce, including pomegranates, watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, and more. These fruits and veggies are sold to Harvest Table to serve students in the Irvine Commons and are also “donated to local nonprofits that work to alleviate hunger and homelessness in the community,” says the university website.
The farm is an example of a Community Service Learning (CSL) Student-Led Service Program. Students can apply to the work study job of gardener-in-residence or complete their community service requirement by volunteering. Volunteers prepare soil, harvest produce, and help out around the garden. There are also Campus Community Garden plots available for students, staff, and any organizations on campus to lease and grow their own produce. Students can fulfill their community service requirement by donating the food they grow on these plots.
The Farm Fest event at SURF featured food trucks, craft tables, a petting zoo, free cotton candy, pony rides, free agave plants and much more. Many university organizations involved with CSL such as Big Buddies, CHAMPS, and Jasper’s Corner came together to make this event possible.
Families feeding goats hay at Saturday’s Farm Fest. Students and children alike enjoyed getting to meet goats, chicken, and llama in the petting zoo.
CSL organization College & High School Alliance Mentoring & Program Service (CHAMPS) enthusiastically hands out cotton candy to attendees of Farm Fest. CHAMPS provides one-on-one mentoring to local high school students.
Local musicians John Major and Mike Landers of the band ‘Strangebrew’ perform for families taking a break in the shade. According to their Facebook page, “Strangebrew Band is an acoustic rock/pop duo out of Highland, CA.”
Children enjoy pony rides around SURF and getting to view all the produce the farm has to offer.
SURF workers give out free agave plants to encourage students to visit SURF and learn how to take care of plants.
Children paint and decorate pumpkins from SURF with help from Big Buddies, a CSL group dedicated to mentoring elementary and middle school students.
Students with CSL organization Jasper’s Corner help children make paper plate crafts. Jasper’s Corner “provides local elementary through high school students with homework and tutoring,” according to the CSL department.
Roots and Shoots hands out seed starters to community members. Roots and Shoots teaches gardening and environmental skills to children.
Buddy the Bulldog mascot made an appearance to show the Redlands spirit and promote Farm Fest!
Food was available for purchase as well, with both a barbecue truck and a taco truck.
Adelaide Hubble is a freshman majoring in environmental studies and minoring in spatial studies. She enjoys writing about club events and any important issues on campus. Adelaide is from Las Vegas and likes to listen to 80s/90s alternative rock and explore coffee shops in her free time.