A Visit to the Farm: UC Santa Cruz CASFS

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The University of California Santa Cruz campus is home to the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.  If you ever have the opportunity to visit UCSC taking a tour of the farm is wonderful way to spend your day.  The garden was established in 1967 by Alan Chadwick and today “the 30-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.”  

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The farm is home to several programs including an intensive apprenticeship program.  This full-time program offers 300 hours of classroom instruction and 700 hours of in-field training.  Graduates of the program receive a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture upon graduation.  Here is a short video about the program: https://vimeo.com/139405408

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The farm is doing research on sustainable farming practices and has long been a leader in promoting organic farming.  From the CASFS website: 

Through our research, education, and outreach programs, the Center works to create agriculture and food systems that sustain both human communities and the environments in which they live. The growing public and academic interest in sustainable agriculture, organic food, resource-conserving farming techniques, and issues of social justice underscores the need for the type of work conducted by Center staff, faculty, and students.

 

For more information please visit the CASFS website: https://casfs.ucsc.edu/about/index.html