The Terp Farm Fall Harvest Festival: looking at the food on our plates

by TRISTAN MADDEN

Terp Farm hosted its first public event at the Central Maryland Research Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland Oct. 9, inviting university students and others to partake in food, entertainment and tours of the Terp Farm facility.

Terp Farm is a collaboration between three University of Maryland entities. The Department of Dining Services, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Office of Sustainability created Terp Farm in 2014 with the intention of producing locally grown vegetables for consumption on the UMD campus.

A lively event, Green Tidings food truck stood at the center of the festival and served both lamb sandwiches and ratatouille subs. Behind the van truck was a pumpkin painting activity table for younger guests, and the festival also featured live music from local D.C. band Numbering Sundays, who performed covers of popular folk songs by the dining tent.

Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz

Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz

Of course, the point of the event was to publicize Terp Farm, so Terp Farm volunteers conducted tours of the farm and explained to festival goers how their operation works.

Taking up roughly 2.5 acres of the Central Maryland Research Center, Terp Farm is relatively small. According to Terp Farm volunteer Michael Perise, the farm has grown an eclectic mix of vegetables, including cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli and chard in the last year. And they were grown using only organic fertilizers.

Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz Broccoli and cabbage growing on the Terp Farm
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
Broccoli and cabbage growing on the Terp Farm
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz Terp Volunteer Michael Perise shows off the cabbage he has been growing for the past few weeks.
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
Terp Volunteer Michael Perise shows off the cabbage he has been growing for the past few weeks.

According to Allison Lilly, the Sustainability and Wellness Coordinator for Dining Services, the farm has produced roughly 20,000 pounds vegetables since it began in 2014, 16,500 pounds of which have gone to the University. Terp Farm made charitable donations out of the other 3,500 pounds.

Terp Farm distributes these vegetables across the campus. Students can find Terp Farm produce being used in either of the dining halls or by the Green Tidings food truck. Lilly noted that the ratatouille subs the Green Tidings truck made at the festival included tomato sauce made from tomatoes grown on the farm.

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