US (CA): Hub for sustainable farming and student engagement

Situated throughout UC San Diego’s campus are multiple community gardens where students can engage in gardening and sustainability activities. One of these gardens is Roger’s Community Garden, located behind the Ché Café in Revelle College.

RCG is a student-led community garden where volunteers meet weekly for maintenance and upkeep. In recent years, RCG has been working on innovative projects to combat food insecurity and develop sustainable farming practices on campus.

One of these projects is their aquaponics system, which was initially built in 2015 but was rehabilitated in 2021 by “sifting gravel, filtering water, patching holes, and cultivating bacteria.”

George Nassar, a junior at Seventh College, is the aquaponics project lead at RCG and explained how the aquaponics system works. Aquaponics use fish tanks and the waste compounds of fish to create nitrate fertilizers as a form of farming.

Another RCG farming project is its hydroponics system. In 2022, Housing Dining Hospitality gave the hydroponics towers behind the 64 Degrees dining hall to RCG. Hydroponics is a soilless and water-efficient farming method that uses water-based nutrient solutions to grow plants in a limited space. At RCG, they use vertical hydroponics towers that have trickle irrigation. The closed-off towers prevent evaporation and drainage loss, pumping the nutrient-rich water from the troughs up to the top of the tower, where it trickles down onto plant roots.

Read the entire article at UCSD Guardian

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