Hiding in a forest of over fifty fruit trees near Harder Stadium, the UCSB Greenhouse and Garden thrives as a place where students, faculty and community members cultivate their own vegetation.
The UCSB Greenhouse and Garden provides members a plot to produce their own organic fruits and vegetables locally. Members must pay a one-time $10 refundable deposit, as well as a yearly $20 fee to gain access to a plot of land, the greenhouse and various gardening supplies. Additionally, classes focusing on small-scale food production use the garden for projects in soil science and agricultural practices.
Garden Director and fourth-year global studies major Allison Peairs said the garden provides a special opportunity for interested participants, giving them a space to grow plants as well as learn about environmental issues.
“This place is a truly unique place, where diverse groups of people can come together and share a common interest,” Peairs said. “It’s both a recreational and an educational experience because people can learn to relax while learning how to be sustainable.”
Recently, the UCSB Greenhouse and Garden began to repair the greenhouse’s deteriorating roof and its cracked windows through allocations from the Associated Students Finance Board and The Green Initiative Fund. During Spring Quarter, A.S. Finance Board gave the project $15,000 out of a requested $40,000. Additionally, on Oct. 4, TGIF provided $26,350 for the group to complete repairs.
Campus Sustainability Coordinator and TGIF Grants Manager Logan Green said the garden’s environmental focus prompted TGIF to allocate funds to the project.
“It is the mission of TGIF to reduce the University’s impact on the environment and transform the campus into a living laboratory for sustainability,” Green said. “Increasing the amount of organic and locally grown food available on campus is a priority for TGIF.”
Meanwhile, faculty advisor and Environmental Studies professor David Cleveland said the garden is also an important resource for classes, allowing students essential hands-on work in the field.
“I teach small-scale food production classes at the Greenhouse and Garden center and all the students are able to grow their own foods and form group plots,” Cleveland said. “It’s a good way to learn how to apply agricultural theories. Members of the faculty use that place for classroom and research activities, so I consider it to be a part of the educational facility.”