On the UC Santa Cruz campus, the Center manages the UCSC Farm and the Alan Chadwick Garden, both internationally known sites for training and research in organic horticulture and agriculture. These facilities are organically certified in accordance with the California Organic Foods Act of 1990. Students, faculty, and researchers use both the Farm and Garden as research and teaching sites. Both facilities are also open to the public daily from 8 am to 6 pm.
Since the Garden's establishment in 1967, apprentices, staff, and students have transformed it from marginal land into a productive model of small-scale agriculture and horticulture. They rely primarily on Garden founder Alan Chadwick's "French-intensive/biodynamic" method, based on close spacing of plants in raised beds, maximum soil aeration and drainage, and careful use of organic fertilizers. Today the 3-acre Chadwick Garden exhibits a diverse collection, including ornamentals, annual and perennial food crops, an extensive planting of fruit trees (including more than 120 apple varieties), and native California species.
Founded in 1972, the 25-acre Farm includes handworked gardens of annual and perennial food and ornamental crops, mechanically cultivated row crops, orchards, and research plots. The Center's offices, the agroecology laboratory, new greenhouses, and a visitors' center are among the facilities located at the Farm. Also on the Farm are the offices of Life Lab, which develops garden-based science and nutrition curricula for elementary schools. Life Lab manages the Garden Classroom at the Farm, which serves as a model school garden and training site for students and teachers throughout the state, and hosts programs for pre-school through high school students year round.