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100% Fresh Celebration

Students working in field
September 5, 2017

This year's annual Farm Fest is partnering with area artists.

UMD’s Land Lab, 3568 Riley Road, is facilitating the fusion of sustainability, community, arts, and a pumpkin-shaped bouncy house at its fourth annual Food and Farm Festival.

It’s happening on Sunday, September 17 from 12 – 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. A farm-fresh buffet lunch will be sold for $10 for adults and $5 for college students and children.  

Free parking is available, but organizers encourage attendees to carpool when possible.

Celebrating Major Growth

The Food and Farm Festival is a celebration of campus and community sustainability that serves as a fundraiser for the 15-acre Sustainable Agriculture Project at the Land Lab. 

Director Randy Hanson says the event also offers his students an opportunity to share the rewards of their hard work. “They experience hands-on learning throughout the growing season at an operation that models sustainable practices in food, water, energy and land management.”  

The farm itself is a centerpiece of campus sustainability efforts, producing more than 50,000 pounds of food each year for UMD Dining Services, which Hanson says collaborates with and supports the farm in a myriad of ways.

What is an Onion?

New this year– the Magic Smelt Puppet Troupe is presenting its pageant “What’s an Onion?” at 2 p.m. with the Boardwalk Brass Band, 10 UMD music majors who, together, bring the sounds of New Orleans to Duluth.

The performance is the culmination of eight workshops led by The Magic Smelt Puppet Troup’s artist-in-residence Jim Ouray. He invited community members and UMD students to take a portion of the story and, with the help of artists, create supporting materials.  

The original performance is made possible by the UMD based Anthropocene Research Collaborative and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities-based Institute for Advanced Study. 

Food and Farm Festival Activities

The Land Lab’s staff and volunteers are offering tours of their operation throughout the day.

In addition to UMD Land Lab students showcasing their seasonal accomplishments, many other representatives of campus and community related sustainability are sharing their work.  

Children can participate in the free ‘crafts for kids’ workshops offered by UMD art professors Joellyn Rock and Alison Aune and their art education students. Participants will learn about regional activities around food, water, energy, and community change. 

The Boardwalk Brass Band is performing from 2:30 – 4 p.m. and KUMD Radio will be on site from 12 – 2 p.m.

For those hoping to take home a slice of the operation, a farmer’s market is offering produce from the Land Lab and area farms.


Farm Fest is sponsored by UMD Dining Services, UMD Student Life, KUMD, At Sarah’s Table Chester Creek Café, Duluth Coffee Company, The Institute for Advanced Study, and TCF Bank.  

It is made possible by broad collaboration of campus and community advocates of a more sustainable community.