UCCE harvest festival Sept. 20 in Oakland

Sep 3, 2014

Long before people began virtual farming in Farmville, real farmers were raising crops and livestock in the Bay Area with the guidance of UC Cooperative Extension.

If you grow food or just eat food, come out to the First Annual Fall Harvest Festival on Saturday, Sept. 20, to celebrate 100 years of UC Cooperative Extension in Alameda County. The free event will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fruitvale Village at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland. There will be fun activities for the whole family.

Did you grow more zucchinis than you can eat? Exchange them with other gardeners at the Crop Swap.

Are you growing a prize-worthy piece of produce in your backyard or community garden? Enter your tomato, squash or other vegetable in the Veggie Produce Contest. The Bountiful Basket Contest will judge creativity and imaginative use of five or more different home-grown vegetables in baskets. In the Creepy Critters Contest, children ages 12 and under will create creatures out of seasonal vegetables. To compete in the contests, please pre-register at http://cealameda.ucanr.edu/100years/Veggie_Contest.

Other activities include healthy food demonstrations and an urban farming puppet show/rap skit for kids. 

This year, the University of California is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Cooperative Extension statewide, and Alameda was one of the first counties in the state to have Cooperative Extension!

“For the past century, UC Cooperative Extension specialists and advisors have been educating Californians in their communities, at their places of work, and even sometimes at their own homes,” said Barbara Allen-Diaz, UC vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources. “UC Cooperative Extension's network of researchers and educators continues to work with Californians to address local issues and use science to solve community problems.” UCCE researchers and educators live and work in each county so they can understand and help address local economic, agricultural, environmental, youth development and nutrition issues.

Today, California produces about 400 agricultural commodities valued altogether at roughly $44 billion annually, thanks in part to technical assistance from UCCE, but there's much more to Cooperative Extension. You may be familiar with other faces of UC Cooperative Extension, such as 4-H youth clubs, local nutrition educators, or Master Gardeners who share advice on growing food and safely managing pests.

For more information about the UC Cooperative Extension-Alameda County Harvest Festival and Centennial Celebration, visit http://cealameda.ucanr.edu/100years. To pre-register for the vegetable produce contest or to ask questions, call (510) 567-6812 (English), (510) 639-1339 (English/Spanish) or (510) 777-2482 (español).

By Pamela Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach