The final East Campus Discovery Days and Farmers Market of 2022 is coming to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 13.
The popular series — held the second Saturday in June, July and August — welcomes the public to East Campus and offers a glimpse of Nebraska agriculture, as well as the research and discovery, educational programs and outreach taking place across campus. About 15 vendors and 30 university departments participate each month. The event also includes live music, food trucks and a free Pilates class.
The Aug. 13 event will include a new produce vendor — Lincoln Northeast High School’s community garden.
The garden began as part of the LPS-CASNR Early STEM program at Lincoln Northeast, which introduces concepts related to food, energy, water and societal systems into the schoolwide curriculum and offers opportunities for students to earn certificates and early college credit. The garden was started by English-language learners who wanted to grow foods important in their cultures to share with friends and neighbors, said Bailey Feit, coordinator of the LPS-CASNR program.
The students worked with a host of partners, including Civic Nebraska, the local Kiwanis Club and the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum to obtain grant funding, build raised beds and plant a bloom box to attract pollinators. Over the summer, the students set up a schedule to water and weed the beds and harvest the produce, Feit said. On Aug. 13, they’ll offer tomatoes, bell peppers, several varieties of hot peppers, cucumbers, basil and other produce for a free will donation. The students plan to reinvest the proceeds into next year’s garden. Feit said she is excited for the students to finally be able to share the fruits of their labor.
“They just wanted to build community around this garden,” she said. “Food really does bring people together, and that’s what they’re going to see.”
Other vendors will sell Nebraska-grown meat and locally produced cheese, spices, coffee, popcorn, baked goods and more. Food trucks will sell soul food, barbecue, Mexican food, ice cream, shaved ice and more. An up-to-date list of participating food trucks is available on the event Facebook page.
At the same time, many university departments will host free, hands-on educational activities for campus visitors of all ages. Participants can get an up-close look at drones, robots and other modern farm technologies at the biological systems engineering department exhibit. Faculty and students from the plant pathology department will diagnose plant disease. Nebraska 4-H will offer hands-on activities for kids. Backyard Farmer’s host and panelists, along with volunteers from the Nebraska Master Gardener program, will give guided tours of the Backyard Farmer garden. The Larsen Tractor Museum and International Quilt Museum will be open and offer free admission.
The Aug. 13 event will also bring the return of the popular entomology event BugFest to East Campus. Entomology faculty, staff and students will offer activities about Nebraska insects, bee biology and how to draw insects. The event will also feature the department’s insect zoo, insect-inspired art and information on invasive insects, honeybees and ticks.
For more information, including a complete list of activities, click here.