The 2008-2009 Garden Project, a yearlong USF living-learning community composed of first-year students and two professors, has accomplished a lot this semester. The members of the community live together in Hayes-Healy Hall and take two semester long classes: community-based urban agriculture and community garden outreach.
The Garden Project Community and classes are based on the history and practice of community urban gardening with a focus on food production, water rights, and other various environmental and ethical issues.
On Wednesdays, during the Community Based Urban Agriculture class, the group has presentations and discussions of readings and different community garden practices. On some Wednesdays, there is even a dinner cooked by assigned members of the class that is composed of food only within a 150-mile radius of San Francisco.
On Fridays, the group either meets in USF’s community garden (located on Turk Street next to the School of Education) or goes on a field trip to one of many community gardens throughout the Bay Area. This year’s field trips include Berkeley’s Edible Schoolyard and Bayview/Hunter’s Point Quesada Gardens Initiative, both community-service organizations that encourage education and community building through gardening.
This semester, the group’s largest project in the USF Community Garden is the installation of a drip-irrigation system. Students have also been working in groups on other projects within the garden such as designing and creating an outdoor kitchen, a water catchment system, and bringing animals to the garden.
Anyone interested in becoming involved with the Garden Project or USF’s community garden can come to the Community Garden meetings on the third Tuesday of each month at 12:30 p.m. in the garden and two Saturday community garden workdays each semester.
This living-learning community update was written by Elyssa Norris Bairstow, who is a current member of the Garden Project.