Tag Archives: Harvest

Dining Services Farm at Kentland Farm: Fall 2016 Recap

Now that spring semester is finally underway we wanted to take a moment to recap the amazing work that was done on the Dining Services Farm at Kentland Farm during the fall of 2016! The Dining Services Farm is run by Alex Hessler, who acts as both the farm manager and as an instructor in the Department of Horticulture. One of the courses offered by the Department of Horticulture is the Sustainable Agriculture Practicum, which takes place at the Dining Services Farm and provides students with hands-on experience in sustainable vegetable production. Daisy Sturgill, a student in the Sustainable Agriculture Practicum class, agreed to let us share some of her experiences while working on the farm during the fall.

You can click on the images below to see larger photos and captions.


In early September, we harvested a huge amount of cilantro. “We hacked it down with harvesting knives, washed it, and packed it. There was a bountiful surplus that was enjoyed thoroughly.” Later in the month we harvested broccoli, lettuce, power greens, and vegetation for flower arrangements.

The class was also in charge of preparing the Urban Horticulture Center’s high tunnel. High tunnels are similar to greenhouses, and they allow farmers to extend the growing season for different crops (which is why you sometimes have local lettuce in the middle of winter). On September 16th we “began to prepare the seedbeds in the high tunnel at the UHC by fluffing the compressed soil on the edges of the beds.”


Once October hit, “winter squash harvesting began! We started by cutting the fruits off the vine to later be harvested via conveyor and teamwork.” Throughout the month we harvested different plants from the cucurbit family, including Easter egg gourds, pepos, maximas, and moschatas. By late October the potato harvest at the Dining Services Farm was also in full swing. The farm crew was able to do a squash and potato tasting, and on October 27th the class visited the orchard, where we “tasted the finest of fruits, gazed upon primo views, and gathered apples from the trees.”


In our last month at the Dining Services Farm at Kentland Farm we picked apples and helped to clear out some of the fields. “We ripped plastic mulch and drip tape from the sweet potato fields and planted garlic.” On our last day at the farm on November 10th we took a trip down to the nearby river, learned survival skills, and took care of a stray cat.

“Thanks for a wild wagon ride, Kentland Farm!”


Chef’s Table: A Local Gathering

Join us for our Fall Harvest Meal Chef’s Table: A Local Gathering on Thursday 9/26 from 5 – 8 PM in Owens Banquet Hall.


Virginia Tech Dining Services presents Chef’s Table: A Local Gathering. This event will feature delectable dishes prepared by Virginia Tech’s Executive Chef’s using local and sustainable foods.

Event will be held in the Owens Banquet Room on Thursday September 26th from 5:00-8:00pm.  This event costs $9.95 Flex or $19.95 cash and is limited to the first 200 to register.

Registration closes Tuesday September 24th so register now using the link below!


July Harvest Workday: Wed 7/17

Interested in learning a little more about the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm? Spend your Wednesday evening in the garden with us.  Help us harvest the summer bounty!

Volunteer_at the Garden

Who: You!

What: More info on our Facebook Event Page!

When: Wednesday 7/17 5PM – 7 PM

Where: Kentland Farm (Directions below)


  • Take Prices Fork Road going away from campus.
  • Continue for about 3 miles; make a right on McCoy Road.
  • Continue for about 3 miles; make a left on Whitethorne Road. This turn will come quickly at the bottom of a steep hill.
  • Take the first entrance to the farm on the right (just before the official entrance at the office building). This is the right turn BEFORE the bridge.
  • Follow the dirt/gravel road to the garden plots. Park near other cars underneath the shade trees.

What to Bring:Water Bottle, Hat, Layers, Raingear (if necessary)

See you at the Farm!


FALL is in the Air!

It’s officially Fall.  The trees are starting to change colors, it’s time to sip hot apple cider by a campfire, and fall vegetables are ready to be harvested!

At the Dining Services Garden, we try to focus our production season so that most  of our vegetables are ready to be harvested when school starts up again in the Fall.  That means we’ve got a whole bunch of sweet potatoes, pumpkins, winter squashes and apples to harvest!

This Sunday October 7th, come help bring in the harvest!  We’ll be starting harvesting from about 9 am – 3pm.  There’s a lot to learn, see, and enjoy down at the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm.  Check our facebook event page for more information.


Leave a comment below with some of YOUR favorite Fall food traditions.

Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.
William Cullen Bryant