History and Vision
The original idea for the Robb Garden came from a student who wanted to develop a composting program for the Pacific campus, and the first planning meeting took place in February 2010. The idea was further developed by two other students, Fiona Kelly and Vinny Johl, and they presented their vision at the Clinton Global Initiative Conference in 2010. By early spring 2011, Regent Walter Robb showed interest in financially supporting a campus garden. At that point, the garden location and layout was planned. By January 2012, funding was in place and work began in June 2012. By early September 2012, the first crops were planted and the first harvests began in October 2012.
The garden concept developed from the idea and ambition of two students whom attended the . Two graduateschool students, now alumni, Fiona Kelly and Vinny Johl planned, designed, andconstructed the garden as a campus project that would support university initiativesand serve as a valuable resource for faculty in supporting the sustainability learningobjective.Enthusiasm and support was gained through conducting numerous meetingswith faculty and staff. This initial proposal began a dialogue concerning theimportance of food and our food systems as well as Pacific's role in generatingresponsible and informed citizens. The proposal attempted to promoteunderstanding of the connectedness of humans and their natural environment, andfor students to have the ability to evaluate and engage in environmental, social, andeconomic action
The future of the Robb Garden is tightly linked to its mission of education. The major focus of the garden is to teach students how to grow healthy food without the use of pesticides or inorganic fertilizers. This training has both technical and experiential aspects. Students learn how to:
Layout a garden
Prepare garden beds
Irrigate crops using drip tape
Amend the soil
Select crops and understand crop seasons
Plant seeds in the greenhouse
Care for seedlings
Manage pests without synthetic pesticides
Record and manage crop data
Market and sell produce
The University of the Pacific's campus community garden advances a mission andcampus-wide approach to sustainability. The garden makes inter-disciplinary andpractical connections to academic disciples. It is a tangible representation of human andphysical relationships with the environment. Through active participation in Pacific'sgarden project students, faculty, staff, and the greater Stockton community will developprofound perceptions of the environment, society, and economy.
The Pacific Garden will evaluate long and short-term implications forsustainability such as eating locally and various nutritional benefits. Educationalactivities will be curricular and co-curricular and will include local organizations as wellas Pacific's dining services. The garden symbolizes Pacific's commitment to righteouspractices and creates a learning environment suitable for all ages and disciplines.