Harvest Festival 2019

Beloved Community Event Reinforces the School's Sustainability Commitment

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in October the PDS community came together for the Garden's Harvest Festival. This is the second year that this annual celebration, hosted by the student-led EnAct club and the Garden Apprenticeship Program, has been held in the Garden rather than the Campus Center. Once again the weather cooperated to create an enchanting event while this year's theme, "Arts in the Garden," translated into visual and performance treats: the air was filled with the sounds of our talented singers while artwork from our students festooned the Garden areas and Kristy's Meadow.

This year, mid-afternoon tours of the enhanced Greenhouse and adjoining courtyard produced crowds eager to check out the latest crown jewel in the Garden program's crown. Greenhouse host Eric Rempe answered showers of questions about the characteristics of the beautiful, and unusual, plant collection as well as the many ways in which School curriculum is being enriched through these revitalized resources.

Drawn by enticing aromas, the crowds then made their way to the Garden and outdoor classroom area to explore the raised beds and outdoor flora and fauna in all their fall glory while sampling crepes, frittatas, smoothies and melt-in-your-mouth warm bread baked in the garden's own clay oven. The menu was crafted by students with the help of Flik Chef Mason and French teacher Laurence Farhat. Not surprisingly, many of the ingredients were sourced from the PDS Garden, highlighting the bounty provided by the School's commitment to this beloved common ground.

Vocal performances included pieces by students Hannah-Yael Apedo '23, Zoe Latanision '23 and Joe Lippman '22, Ritika Kumar '21 and our a capella groups Y Chromotones, Pitch Please and Madrigals. Dance, a magic show and face painting rounded out the performing arts! Mr. Hirniak's class made the stunning banners with printed images that lined the walkways in the meadow while Deva Watson's mosaic tile Da Vinci class displayed their work inside the garden. EnAct students also hosted a presentation table to raise awareness about the need for sustainable living practices.

EnAct student leader Ellie Scholfield '20 shared her feelings about the experience of helping host the Harvest Festival. "There is a mad rush in the days leading up to the Festival to make sure that everything is in place and will function smoothly," she explained, adding that setting up and anticipating what could go wrong involved an impressive amount of planning ahead and coordinating alternative options so that everyone would be ready for any eventuality.

"Once the first wave of people had arrived on Saturday, it was clear that after our planning, and largely due to the extensive and diligent preparation of [Sustainability Coordinator] Liz Cutler and [Garden Program Coordinator] Pam Flory, of course, we had done pretty well," Ellie continued. "The Garden and surrounding area came to life through the people that filled it, the performances going on, the food and the lively sounds of people enjoying themselves."

People of all ages across the larger School community attended: Lower through Upper School students and their families, faculty and staff, and alumni! Ellie concluded, "It was great to bring members of the community together on a gorgeous fall day with performances, presentations and food!"

To see more photos from this wonderful night check out our Flickr album here.

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