The Harvard Community Garden came alive more than usual on Saturday, October 19 with the fourth annual Harvest Festival. Harvard students, Cambridge dwellers, and zealous passers-by all gathered at the grassy garden plot at 27 Holyoke Place to celebrate the success of this past growing season. A cloudless sky beamed softly down on the teeming greenery and ripe produce in the quaint enclave, separated by a wooden fence from the bustle and brick of the city. The verdant growth in the garden stood in contrast to the fiery trees in the street, singing of a lingering summer amidst the turn of autumn.
The October air was filled with contented chatter and the strums of a ukulele, drawing in folks of all ages and backgrounds. A wide array of tasty food and fun activities clustered in every corner of the garden. The crowd was sucked in momentarily to one table in the middle when fresh cider came from the press and was poured into eager cups.
A blue tarp in one corner beckoned with pumpkins to be carved and decorated. Another offered tie-dye T-shirt making. Clever T-shirts were being sold where the expression “Beat Yale” had been transformed into “Eat Kale” by green streaks over the letters.
Fresh kale and other greens were being plucked from the garden and served with a pan of golden focaccia bread. Emelie Coleman ’15 smiled as she chopped the greens. She explained that the thyme and sage on the bread was harvested from the garden, as well as the herbs infusing the popcorn and the tea also being offered. Emelie says they’ve tried to add more food every year since she started getting involved with Harvest Fest her freshman year. Her favorite thing about the event is seeing people walk by and come in to see what activities are happening.
“It’s a big community space so you get people from all over Cambridge,” she mused.
Harvard student Megan Monteleone ’16 shared this perspective on the garden’s social benefits. “I think it’s a great thing for the community,” Megan exclaimed, surveying the gathering of people. “I’m going to go get some popcorn.”
A father showed his two children how to pluck carrots from the garden bed and rinse them under the fountain. Students tasted apples from the crates by the cider-pressing station and pinched small red and yellow tomatoes from their green vines. The carrots were crisp and savory, the apples sweet and juicy, and the breads and popcorn were seasoned to perfection. Harvest Fest abounded with gifts to the community.