Perspectives Online

CEFS summer interns hold harvest festival

In the next to last week of his CEFS summer internship, Greg Vaughan, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champagne, tells a harvest festival customer about the organic farm techniques that produced festive bunches of ornamental corn.
In the next to last week of his CEFS summer internship, Greg Vaughan, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champagne, tells a harvest festival customer about the organic farm techniques that produced festive bunches of ornamental corn.
(Photo By Becky Kirkland)
Summer interns from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) held a harvest festival — a produce sale in celebration of their harvest and hard work — on the N.C. State University Brickyard July 23.

Produce included red and white potatoes, purple beans, red tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, blueberries, watermelons, cut flowers and ornamental corn, as well as jalapeno, Anaheim, bell and chili peppers.

In addition to all that color, the market area set up adjacent to Harrelson Hall was adorned with sunflower sprays and an exhibit of Chilean art.

Interns sold the fruits of their labors while they talked to their customers about sustainable agriculture and the CEFS.

The eight-week summer internship at the CEFS, near Goldsboro, draws students from all over the country. They receive hands-on experience in organic and sustainable production techniques and complementary lectures and field trips related to a variety of sustainable agriculture topics, including marketing.

“This is our cornucopia celebration,” said Bryan Green, farm manager and instructor at the CEFS student organic farm unit. “This produce is as healthy as we can get it and all organic.”

Green added that the students also deliver their produce on a weekly basis to a food kitchen and a women’s shelter in Goldsboro. “Our primary mission is education, but also community service,” he said.

“What moves many of us is the preservation of agriculture in North Carolina,” Green added. “Farmers need creative markets to stay in farming, and niche marketing of organic products is one way.”

—Terri Leith