The windy weather did not stop people from attending Farm Fest this year. On Friday, April 20, from 12 p.m to 7 p.m. students filled the center of Old Main Quad. Vendors from the greater New Paltz community and clubs on campus had booths set up in a giant circle shape. The music on the main stage had speakers and students sat on blankets in the middle of the quad watching live performances.
Students for Sustainable Agriculture (SUSAG) presented this year’s Farm Fest. The festival is “a glorified and bigger farmer’s market with more outside vendors with live music all day,” said SUSAG’s advisor Billie Golan, fourth-year environmental studies student. “The event is meant to bring people together and be a comfortable space to hang out.”
The farmer’s market usually has five to six vendors varying each week, while this Spring’s Farm Fest featured clubs such as: Climate Action Club, Project Heal, Printmaking, Students for Sustainable Drug Policy and Study Abroad in Guatemala, to name a few.
New Paltz students performed music all day. From duets of strings, to solo guitarists and full on bands, the festival had something for anyone to listen to. The music resonated with festival go-ers and some people danced in the grass.
Brown Sugar, a group of three women sitting on the grass with bright orange flowers in their hair were singing a song. The group was invited to perform at the fest, and were playing songs that were empowering for social justice.
Brown Sugar is composed of: Stephanie Vorard, a first-year music therapy major, Brianna Knight, second-year early education major and Janet Turner, second-year music major. While strumming on the blue guitar and harmonizing, they played original songs and mashups with some covers, such as “Love on Top.”
Plants, baked goods, printed t-shirts and jewelry were some treasures being sold at the event.
The Study Abroad in Guatemala table were selling homemade foods such as: vegetarian lasagna, empanadas, chile, brownies and make-your-own tea. Michelle Javier, third-year Spanish and Black Studies major is preparing to go to Guatemala to help children and the community.
All the proceeds and donations from the sale are going directly to aid the people of Guatemala. For this year’s trip in May, the group plans to aid woman in the community and help paint and decorate restaurants.
Fundraising and appreciation bounced from table to table. Climate Action Club, a new club on campus, specializes in spreading awareness of climate change. The members of this club have hosted many events, such as their body bag climate change demonstartion last semester. At Farm Fest, the club was collecting signatures for the SUNY chancellors who promised to bring more sustainability efforts in the SUNY system. The club plans on giving their homemade sign to the chancellor as an act of appreciation.
Different groups allowed the festival to come to life, with the amount of traffic at the tables by sharing information with one another. Music students, sustainability advocates, faculty, vendors and students finally welcomed spring.
“We come together and sit together with a moment of peace,” said Knight, member of Brown Sugar.