Students put their green thumb to work

by Arturo Garcia Sierra

Members of the Student Nutrition Organization at San Diego State volunteered time to nurture the campus herb garden.

“I walk by the herb garden and it’s such a great addition to campus,” communications freshman Grace Diaz said. “It adds beauty while students make their way to classes, so I was glad I had the opportunity to help.”

The garden, located behind the SDSU Faculty-Staff Club, grows an array of different herbs, including thyme and basil.

According to Associated Students Sustainability Commissioner Morgan Chan, these students would like to see more classes that focus on agriculture and offer hands-on gardening work at SDSU.

“I think it is important to have agricultural-focused classes to extend awareness of agriculture to students and to widen the options students have for classes to choose from,” Diaz said.

The campus herb garden is not the only community garden SDSU is involved with. The College Area Community Garden is a joint partnership between College Area community residents, SDSU faculty and staff and A.S. Chan said.

Having recently received approval from the City of San Diego Planning Division to create a community garden on private land parcels east of the SDSU Children’s Center, community members and SDSU students, faculty and staff will be able to rent plots to grow in the garden. Chan said the space granted is approximately 1.5 acres.

Because the area is made up from the backyards of multiple houses atop the valley, permission from the homeowners and the city was required. The renters will be responsible for tending their own plots. Chan said the plots will like- ly be rentable semester-by-semester and for the summer season.

Chan said the involved faculty members hope to use the garden as an outdoor classroom and for research.

According to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education more than 100 higher education institutions have set up on-campus community gardens.

“This ‘growing’ trend may help to lay the groundwork for a future where a network of farmers’ markets, food co-operatives, community-supported agriculture farms and community gardens will greatly reduce average food miles, and help us transition to a more sustainable food system,” environmental services professional Vinodh Valluri wrote on an AASHE blog.