This new eco-facility is an opportunity for the entire SMC community to participate in experiential learning, to grow our own food, to practice sustainability, and to better understand food systems and the impact they have on our planet, bodies, and culture.
The garden is part of SMC’s effort to make all our facilities teaching tools that express our educational values and commitment to environmental excellence.
The Garden consists of about 1,200 square feet of planting space, including several planting options-- raised beds, containers, mounded beds, and constructed herb gardens. There are currently 14 plots in the garden, which are distributed by the Organic Learning Garden Oversight Committee. Participants can apply for plots in the Fall or Spring semester. Generally, plots are assigned for the following terms: Fall / Winter or Spring / Summer.
According to the Organic Learning Garden Two Year Plan, “We, the students of Santa Monica College, want to learn to grow our own food so that we can make our communities self-sustaining, have access to fresh and healthy food, reconnect to the earth, our food, our traditions, and experience the happiness that comes from being connected to the beauty and wholeness of nature and each other as we work together in our gardens.”
In today’s food system, items can travel anywhere from 1500 up to 5000 miles before landing on our plate for dinner, these “food miles” contribute to climate change and make learning to grow our own food an essential tool in building a more sustainable future. Food miles is a term which refers to the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer. Food miles are one factor used when assessing the environmental impact of food, including the impact on climate change.
Before submitting an application, please read the Rules and Guidelines
. Everything in the Organic Learning Garden is seasonal, edible, and organic.
HOW TO GET STARTED GROWING IN THE SMC ORGANIC LEARNING GARDEN
Step 1: Read the rules and regulations.
Step 2: Attend a regularly scheduled garden tour to learn more about the garden. Information on garden tours or on being a docent can be found at www.smc.edu/garden
Step 3: Complete and submit a plot application to Genevieve Bertone at the SMC Center for Environmental and Urban Studies.
Step 4: If your plot application is approved, you will receive a confirmation email asking you to send a list of group names and contact info to the SMC Director of Sustainability (see contact info below).
Step 5: Attend a mandatory Garden Orientation with one of the garden advisors. Minimum 3 group members must attend, all group members should attend if possible.
Step 6: Bring group waivers and planting ideas to the Garden Orientation. Please note that a waiver must be signed by EVERY member working in the garden. The purpose of the Organic Learning Garden is to learn to grow food and plants should be SEASONAL, EDIBLE, and ORGANIC.
Step 8: GET GROWING! Consultations are always available if you have questions. Someone from Club Grow or the Garden Advisor can help you get started.
For additional assistance:
SMC Organic Learning Garden Work Days
Organic Learning Garden Contacts: