Club hosts autumn pumpkin patch

Fall festival has apple cider, pumpkin carving at student farm in October



Students harvest produce Monday evening at the Soil Stewards Farm. “The Student club is the main driver,” Farm Manager Alison Detjens said.

RACHEL KOCH, Evergreen reporter

A student farm at the University of Idaho brings together fans of an upcoming autumn season for a pumpkin patch and fall festival.

The Soil Stewards Farm is mostly run by the students, who decide what gets planted, with guidance and facilitation from farm manager Alison Detjens and another UI faculty member.

Detjens said there are several different groups of students involved in planting and maintaining the crops grown on the Soil Stewards Farm, such as those doing it as part of a class, those in the farm’s work-study program and those in the Soil Stewards Student Club.

“The student club is the main driver,” Detjens said. “We have students from all different backgrounds out here learning how to farm.”

Camilla Ditton, Soil Stewards Student Club member, is a sophomore agriculture major at UI who joined the club last year.

Ditton joined the farm to enhance her experience within her major, she said. She added that she stayed with the club because she liked the closeness she felt with the other members.

“I think it’s one of the most well-rounded clubs that I’ve ever been a part of,” she said. “It’s been a great opportunity to interact with the community and get connected with the Palouse as a whole.”

Next month, the Soil Stewards Farm will host its first Fall Festival in several years, Detjens said.

The Soil Stewards Fall Festival will have a pumpkin patch grown entirely by the students who worked on the farm, a pumpkin carving station, fall-related games and an apple cider vendor.

Ditton said admission will likely be around $5 for non-UI students. People will also have to buy the apple cider, but final prices are not set.

A certified-organic apple orchard located in Sandpoint, Idaho, that UI purchased will provide and sell the cider, Detjens said.

“They have dozens of heirloom varieties of apples, very rare apples, so I’m excited to have them out here,” she said.

Detjens added that the pumpkin carving is mostly for students living in the dorms who want to participate in the festival’s activities of this season, such as carving jack-o’-lanterns, but lack the space to do so.

The Soil Stewards Fall Festival is for anyone who loves fall and wants to celebrate the season but does not want to attend a large-scale festival, Ditton said.

“You just get a down-to-earth … pumpkin patch without all of the hustle and bustle,” she said.

Overall, the Soil Stewards Farm is a celebration of the changing season and all the festivities that come along with it, Detjens said.

“We want to celebrate everything fall,” Detjens said. “Halloween, pumpkins, potatoes, onions, like a fall harvest.”

The Soil Stewards Fall Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 19 at the Soil Stewards Farm, which is located on Farm Road in Moscow past WinCo Foods.