Acres USA’s December issue features an article on the CASFS Farm & Garden Apprenticeship training program in organic farming and gardening.
CASFS Executive Director Daniel Press recently spoke at a reception honoring Congressman Sam Farr as a “Champion of Science” and recognizing Farr’s support of organic farming research and of the UCSC Farm and Garden through the years. Read more about the event, which took place on November 7 at UCSC.
UCSC undergraduate students are invited to apply for Measure 43 funds to support education and research projects related to food, health and wellness, that will engage UCSC students. The application deadline is December 11, 2013. Awarded applicants will be notified the week of January 17, 2014.
A new grant from the USDA’s Higher Education Challenge program will fund expanded educational opportunities in sustainable agriculture for UCSC students and for junior college and high school students in the region. Read the details here.
The latest issue of California Agriculture features an article on research to find alternatives to the soil fumigant methyl bromide, including efforts taking place at the CASFS/UCSC Farm and at other sites in the Monterey Bay region. The article is co-authored by Joji Muramoto and Carol Shennan, who are heading up the study of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) as a possible technique for controlling soil-borne pests and diseases in strawberries and other crops. Read the article here.
The 2013-14 UCSC Campus Food & Garden Guide is now available! Produced annually by UCSC’s Food SystemsWorking Group and the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, this 48-page guide offers resources and information on campus groups involved in sustainable food systems efforts, details on campus eateries, a history of UCSC’s sustainable food efforts including the Real Food Challenge, and much more.
UCSC undergraduates can find classes, internships, and community volunteer opportunities related to food, gardening and farming, as well as details on how to get involved in UCSC’s campus farm and college gardens. Learn about the many ways that UCSC is at the forefront of making our campus and community food and farming systems more sustainable, and how you can get involved in this growing effort.
You can find copies of the guide at various outlets on campus, and access it online.
New fencing went up this spring as the UCSC Farm expanded its acreage to include the Hay Barn and Lower Quarry fields. These new fields will increase the farm’s available land for production, research, and education. Read more on the UCSC News site.
UCSC has received a $5 million cornerstone pledge from Alec and Claudia Webster, representing the Helen and Will Webster Foundation, that will help restore the historic Cowell Ranch Hay Barn near the campus’s main entrance. The restored site will serve as a new home for the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS), Life Lab, and other south campus sustainability groups, as well as a welcoming new “front door” to the UCSC Farm and south campus area.
See the related press release for details of the Hay Barn restoration effort and this generous gift.
The Webster Foundation pledge will be awarded over several years, with the majority of the funds targeted for the Hay Barn’s reconstruction and outfitting for multiple uses, including offices, classrooms, and exhibit space.
According to Daniel Press, executive director of CASFS, the restoration effort demonstrates the campus’s commitment to its historic infrastructure and to its long history as a working landscape. “Front doors are important to people,” says Press, “This restored portion of UCSC’s entrance, with its focus on CASFS and other environmental programs, will signal to students and visitors both the campus’s respect for its past and its commitment to a sustainable future.”
The restored Hay Barn will create a focal point for CASFS student, apprenticeship and community activities and a welcoming gateway to campus and the UCSC Farm. The restored site will also make it possible for CASFS to expand its outreach and extension work with local growers, with plans for a new classroom space to accommodate groups of up to 75 for short courses and workshops.
Plans for related improvements to the site include a new produce pick up area for the UCSC Farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and visitor parking that will improve access to the farm. A portion of the gift will support CASFS and Environmental Studies programs in the future.
In a related project, a new three-acre field is currently being brought into production and will permanently expand the UCSC Farm’s boundary to the edge of renovated Hay Barn, making the Farm easily visible to students and visitors as they enter campus. Fundraising is now underway to purchase and install the fencing, irrigation, and other infrastructure needed for this expansion of farming activities.