Garden Fest blooms on campus

A woman walks with her baby through the flowers of the BC Garden Fest, which hosted nearly 150 vendors on April 22.

Lizette Chavez, Reporter

Bakersfield College’s 12th annual Garden Fest was held northeast of the football stadium on April 22. The event had many vendors, both old and new, set up to sell a variety of products to the public. There were a couple of booths set up by local farms offering free fruit, jams or honey samples and inviting people to purchase local produce. One such farm was Murray Family Farms, which attended this year’s event for the third time.

Ricky Ramirez said he found the event a great opportunity to share and find support and that it was a nice event with “friendly vibes.” Ramirez and his associate were seemingly generous with their fruit samples of strawberries, blueberries and cherries. Ramirez encouraged people to visit the farm and pick fruit for themselves so that they could learn about how fruit is grown and harvested locally.

Not all vendors, however, were Garden Fest veterans. Quite a few of the vendors were there for the first time. Jennifer Chavez, who considers herself a “jack of all crafts,” was there to sell her ceramic garden tags. Chavez, who sells her merchandise through eBay and Etsy, has been creating her tags for 30 years. Chavez said she makes and sells 75 different garden tags and shared a little bit about her creative process. “I start with mud and I hand paint them and they’re fired twice,” she said. “I fire them once and then after I paint on the glazing I fire it again.”

Another hot event was the BC Renegade Ruckus Cook Off Competition. The competition was done by the Culinary Arts program and had BC chefs compete in preparing “chopped styled” dishes for the panel of judges. Not all activities were solely for gardening, though. There were carnival games set up by student clubs and organizations where children could win prizes. Many families seemed to enjoy the games before taking their children to walk through the gardens and the greenhouse where BC students grew their plants and flowers that were available for sale.

Garden Fest was held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with about 150 vendors set up for the annual event.