UCF Arboretum Fall Harvest Feast
The UCF Arboretum held its 5th annual Fall Harvest Feast Celebration December 3 and 4 on UCF main campus. This two day event aimed to increase community cohesion, education, nutrition, and appreciation.
The first day, Thursday, Dec 3, was a day of harvest, where participants collected one or two ingredients from the UCF Arboretum’s garden to take home. A nutrition specialist from UCF Wellness and Health Promotion Services, Natalie D’Azzo, conducted a cooking demonstration creating a dish using several ingredients from the Arboretum’s Organic Community Garden. Participants were encouraged to take harvested ingredients home to cook a meal for the feast the next day.
The following day, Friday, Dec 4, participants returned with a cooked dish and ate together at the UCF Arboretum pavilion. Following the meal Dr. Patrick Bohlen, UCF Arboretum director, awarded prizes and certificates of appreciation to volunteers for all of their hard work this fall semester.
“Volunteers are the backbone of our community garden, and the Harvest Feast is our way of thanking them for their contribution, and sharing the fruits of their labor with other members of the UCF community,” said Dr. Bohlen.
This fall semester 328 students volunteers participated in UCF Arboretum programs for a total of nearly 1900 hours of community service. Nearly 600 pounds of produce was donated by the UCF Arboretum this fall semester.
The UCF Arboretum supports a community garden that was started February 21, 2009. Since that time hundreds of volunteers have donated thousands of hours to help make the garden a success. The predominately student-run garden welcomes all of the UCF and Orlando community to come and dig in the dirt, learn about plants and grow their own food. The garden is open to everyone.
Portions of the produce currently go to student and community volunteers. The garden is open to partnerships with organizations and accepts donations of all kinds, including organic plants, seeds, mulch and fertilizers. UCF Arboretum partners with Knights Pantry by donating fresh organic produce from the community garden and making it available to UCF students in need.
To learn more about UCF Arboretum opportunities click here.