Elon University's Community Garden held its annual Strawberry Festival on Friday. The festival, which is now in its 14th year, celebrates the spring season and the fruit that comes with it.

The festival took place in the Community Garden, located on East College Avenue, between Hillel and the Powell House. The garden is a student-run project that promotes sustainable agriculture and provides fresh produce to the local community.

At the Strawberry Festival, visitors enjoyed a variety of activities, like picking their own strawberries, face painting, taking polaroid photos and listening to live entertainment from Elon’s a cappella groups. There were also several local strawberry themed foods on site, with treats like pound cake, lemonade and ice cream. 

Locally grown plants were also sold at the event, giving attendees the option of types such as sage, tomatoes, basil and other herbs. The plants were donation based, as visitors would “adopt” a plant. 

The event was organized and planned by the ENS 2200: Garden Studio class. The course is two credits and takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6 p.m. Throughout the spring 2023 semester, students in the course had their own garden plots and learned skills in preparation for the Strawberry Festival at the end of the semester. The festival and public relations team in the class took the lead on planning the event.

Elon students who run the community garden were thrilled with the turnout and the success of the festival. Megan Kaliner, a senior and the student manager of Elon’s Community Garden, said the turnout this year was amazing. 

“I’m super excited to see so many people coming out and being excited to be here,” Kaliner said. “The garden is my favorite space, so anytime I can get people to come by and just appreciate it, it means the world to me.”

Kaliner said lots of planning goes into the Strawberry Festival, such as reaching out to organizations on campus to offer them tables and organizing performances. 

“We have to coordinate with Elon Dining for food as well, and we have volunteers from the class sign up to help with the plane adoption event. So throughout the semester, I’ve been seeding and repotting many plants for us to sell here,” Kaliner said.

Junior Nicole McGinty is part of the Garden Studio class and said she has learned a lot since the beginning of the class. 

“Being in this class, I didn’t really know how to grow plants before. We each have our own little garden plot, so it’s been cool to experience that,” McGinty said. “[People] are seeing all of our work come into this event and seeing it in action today, it’s been really cool.”

McGinty was volunteering at the Adopt a Plant table and planted seeds as well. 

“Being in the class as well, we helped plant some of the seeds, put them in the greenhouse, and then had them up here. So, a lot of moving around plants and whatnot,” McGinty said.

McGinty said her favorite part about the day was the weather for the event. 

“I just like seeing everybody coming out and it’s a perfect day for this,” McGinty said. “Just good vibes, all around.”