University of the Pacific currently has two food-producing campus gardens: the Sacramento Community Garden, located on the Sacramento campus (established in 2010), and the Ted & Chris Robb Garden, located on the Stockton campus (estblished in 2012). Also on the Stockton campus is the Bon Appetit Native Plant Garden, established in 2015.
The initial proposal for a Stockton campus garden was made by two Pacific students, Fiona Kelly and Vinny Johl, as part of their Clinton Global Initiative University Conference experience. This initial proposal began a dialogue concerning the importance of food and our food systems as well as Pacific's role in educating responsible and informed citizens. In response to a proposal from Pacific, co-CEO of Whole Foods MarketTM and Regent at the time Walter Robb (shown to the left with his granddaughter) made a generous initial gift in the fall of 2011 to fund the construction of the garden. The first phase of the garden, which was named Ted and Chris Robb Garden after Robb's two sons and Pacific alumni, was completed in the fall of 2012.
In 2015, the Robb Garden expanded to double its size, and at the same time the Bon Appetit Native Plant Garden was created in the space between the Robb Garden and the Geosciences Center.
The Sacramento Community Garden was created in 2010 after the Board of Regents awarded a grant to the McGeorge School of Law's Environmental Law Society for its construction. McGeorge law school students subsequently built the garden themselves and ran it as a community garden for the campus community.
Having gardens on University of the Pacific's campuses advances the university's mission and campus-wide approach to sustainability. The garden makes inter-disciplinary and practical connections to academics. Through active participation in the Pacific Garden Program, students, faculty, staff, and the greater Stockton community develop profound perceptions of the environment, society, and economy. The garden encourages consideration of the long and short-term implications for sustainability, such as eating locally and nutritional benefits of fresh garden produce, while creating a learning environment suitable for all ages and disciplines. The garden is intended to be a teaching and learning laboratory for students to explore the interconnectedness between themselves and their environment. Agriculture and food production are part of the history and culture of the California Central Valley, particularly in and around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, with its rich peat soils ideal for farming. A patchwork quilt of farms provide most of the almonds, apricots, asparagus, grapes, rice, and tomatoes used in California and the United States. Our campus garden provides a connection to the land, to our community heritage, and to the food systems that sustain us.