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Santa Clara University's ½ acre organic garden serves the campus as a space for course research, service learning, and sustainable food production. Operating within the Center for Sustainability, the Forge Garden provides a living laboratory for exploration of environmental impacts and social justice surrounding the food system.
The Forge Garden was founded in 2008 by faculty members within the Environmental Studies and Sciences Department. The 0.5 acre lot was historically a blacksmithing workshop, or forge, in the 1800’s - hence the garden’s namesake. Campus archeologists explored the site in early 2000 and uncovered many fascinating artifacts.
Prior to planting, the soil was heavily amended with organic compost and cultivated with a tractor. In spring of 2012, the 2007 Solar Decathlon House was relocated to the Forge Garden to provide an office and workspace for garden staff and volunteers.
The Forge Garden currently has six chickens, four beehives, a 400 sq.ft. greenhouse, a compost center, over 20 fruit trees, over 15,000 sq ft of garden beds, a public commons, and an aquaponic system.
The garden is open 5 days-a-week for public engagement. There are service learning opportunities year-round, a weekly farm stand, a large variety of workshops, and special events. Dozens of academic courses utilize the Forge each quarter, bringing students to the garden for labs, tours, lectures, and observation.
*To organize a service day, tour, or event, please contact the Garden Manager, Katharine, at firstname.lastname@example.org.