What’s Growing On: Fall Harvest Festival

It’s time to pumpkin spice things up!
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 12:13 AM EDT
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LIVE OAK, Fla. (WCJB) - Each year an estimated 2,000 students, volunteers, and teachers experience agriculture firsthand by attending and participating in the fall harvest experience at the North Florida Research and Education Center in Live Oak.

It’s an event that’s been going on for many years in the Suwannee Valley.

Katie Jones, who is a 4H Youth Development Agent Suwannee County tells TV20 “This event has been going on for over 10 years. It’s about a 3 week event in the end of October, beginning of November and annually we see somewhere between a thousand and 1,500 kids come through over that 3-week period.”

A lot of the kids, as well as their parents, do not know the monumental effort it takes to get food from the farm to the table.

“At this point in time most people are about 3 generations removed from the family farm, and so showing them where their food comes from, showing them a little bit of the inputs that goes into producing crops.”; Katie Jones.

Along with the most famous gourd, a pumpkin, a new crop each year is showcased for attendees, and the one this year is pretty sweet.

“Kids get to learn about an agronomic crop from the Suwannee Valley, this year it’s sweet potatoes. We have a mini pumpkin station so they get to go home with a mini pumpkin.”; Jones.

A forage maze is also on site and students maneuver through the maze that is a blend of sunn hemp, sorghum, millet, and sunflowers. The students view the fall plant scenery and learn about each of the crops that are blended together to form the unique maze.

The Fall Harvest runs now through November 10th and all are encouraged to attend. A link to contact the administration off and sign up can be found here: https://svaec.ifas.ufl.edu/.

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