Since 2011 this eco-facility has been an opportunity for the entire SMC community
to participate in practical learning, growing our own food, exercising sustainability,
and to achieving a better understanding of 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.
Read the steps below in "How to Get Started in the SMC Organic Learning Garden" and
download the application:
Step 2: Attend a Club Grow meeting on Tuesdays at 11.15am and ask for garden tour from one
of the student leaders. This will help you learn more about the garden. If that time
does not work for you, alternatively, you can contact the Sustainability Center to
arrange a tour.
Step 3: Complete and submit a garden plot application with a completed group roster (minimum
5 participants) to Ferris Kawar at the SMC Sustainability Center.
Step 4: If your plot application is approved, you will receive a confirmation email confirming your roster and contact
info and detailing next steps.
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. Print the waiver form. Bring signed waiver form to group orientation. All members of the group are required
to sign the form. During the orientation you will get to know your plot and begin
improving the soil.
Step 6: Bring any additional 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.