Students working in the Robb Garden

The Ted and Chris Robb Garden will be dedicated at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 4 near the DeMarcus Brown Studio. The garden will be used to grow food for use in the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center and also will be used in class curriculums and as a laboratory.

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Campus Life

Ted and Chris Robb Garden Blooms on Campus

New Garden Will Contribute to Sustainable Education
by Patrick GiblinSep 4, 2012

Imagine eating fresh fruits and vegetables in the Don and Karen DeRosa University Center that were literally picked from the vine just hours earlier.

This could soon be a reality, thanks to the Ted and Chris Robb Garden, the Stockton campus' new food Garden. It will be dedicated at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 near the DeMarcus Brown Studio. Students, faculty and staff are invited to participate in the dedication ceremony. Seeds will be planted just before the ceremony, and the first harvest is expected in the winter.

The Robb Garden was named in honor of Regent Walter Robb's sons, Ted Robb '02 and Chris Robb '06. A $100,000 gift from Regent and Whole Foods Co-CEO Walter Robb underwrote the garden's construction.

The major mission of the garden is education, said Professor Marc Brunell, faculty director of the garden, and students will learn what a garden is and how a garden is created and managed.  In addition, Bon Appétit, Pacific's food service provider, will use fruits and vegetables from the garden for meals on the Stockton campus, as locally grown and consumed fruits and vegetables reduce transportation costs and emissions. Gardeners on the Stockton campus project will not use harmful pesticides and chemicals that can leach into local waterways.

Several Pacific professors plan to integrate the garden into class curriculum and labs. Assistant Sociology Professor Alison Alkon, for instance, hopes to significantly involve her students in the garden's operation to extend their knowledge of food systems, sustainability and issues related to socioeconomic inequalities. Student internships may also be available in the future.

Aching to get your hands dirty? Members of the Pacific community are invited to participate in "Work Parties" every Friday to help further the progress on the Robb Garden. Come dig in anytime between 3:30 and 6 p.m. and stay as long as you like. Tools are provided (closed-toed shoes, hats and gloves are recommended).

Biological Sciences Associate Professor Mark Brunell and Sustainability Director Shanna Eller will oversee the Ted and Chris Robb Garden. Organic gardening authority John Jeavons will advise on garden construction and design.

This is not Pacific's first foray into food gardening. Two years ago, Pacific's McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento established an organic community garden on that campus that was funded by the Regents in an effort led by Regent Walter Robb. Pacific's Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco hosts a weekly farmer's market on its campus which offers foods grown by Bay Area farmers. The Stockton campus also hosts a weekly farmer's market featuring foods grown in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

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