This Sunday, Sarah P. Duke Gardens — known for its picturesque flora that attracts about 300,000 visitors annually — will host a fall Harvest Festival.

"We're always looking for ways to connect people with plants, so fall and harvest time is an exciting and beautiful seasonal way to do that," said Kavanah Anderson, the Gardens' education program coordinator. "We're working with a number of local organizations that are related to gardening or outdoor learning, who will be facilitating activities along with our education department to help people of all ages learn, discover, have fun, and make observations about what’s happening in the garden in the fall.”

The affordable produce company Ungraded Produce will provide fall fruits and vegetables to sample at the event. Music Lab, the children’s music discovery program, will provide music and entertainment for the event. Durham County Master Gardeners and SEEDS will offer gardening tips and the Durham County Beekeepers Association will host a presentation on bees. 

Festival participants will also be exposed to an array of outdoor activities. 

“They’ll be able to play with mud, be able to read books and stories about gardens and can visit the chickens in the gardens,” Anderson said.

The festival will be held in the Charlotte Brody Discovery Garden, which opened in 2012. The garden is managed with sustainable practices.

"It's the area of Duke Gardens where we grow a lot of edible plants, so lots of fruits and vegetables are grown throughout the year and are donated," Anderson said. "All of the produce that we grow is donated to Healthy Families Durham.”

Since parts of the Gardens are relatively new, the festival, which the Gardens has not held in several years, will provide a means of introduction to what the natural space can offer. 

The event is open to everyone, but to Duke students in particular. 

"We definitely want to make sure that students are aware of the Gardens as a resource for them,"  Anderson said. "Whether it’s a place to come to read a book, or do your homework, or take a walk by yourself to clear your head, or walk with a friend, or a place to come have a picnic, we just want to make sure that students are aware of the many ways that they can enjoy the garden that’s so close since it’s right on campus.”

The Harvest Festival is Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. The event is free and visitors can drop in at anytime, but parking fees may apply.