Institute for Sustainable Development

Our Sustainable Future - CSU, Chico

Farm to School: Organic Vegetable Garden Supports Community

An AS Sustainability Fund Project

August 2009
by Trevor Prater, Public Relations Intern
The Institute for Sustainable Development

(CSU, Chico) The Organic Vegetable project at California State University, Chico has increased production to accommodate students at Chico State as well as local schools in partnership with the program. The Organic Vegetable Project (OVP), initiated in 2007 has expanded their garden area to over four times its original size in the last 2 years. Currently farming 2 acres of land, the OVP has been allotted up to 10 acres at the CSU, Chico farm by the Chico State College of Agriculture. With their recent expansion in production the OVP hopes to attract more funding, volunteers, and interest in the program in order to grow more organic produce on the land made available to them.

The OVP is committed to growing healthy and nutritious organic produce using small-scale agricultural techniques. “We grow the majority of our food for Chico State and local schools.” said Katie Fugnetti, Field Manager for the Organic Vegetable Project. “With the farm-to-schools approach we can teach the benefits of small-scale organic farming to students and provide nutritious and wholesome foods to them”.

Through an initial award of a $10,500 grant from the Associated Students Sustainability Fund, the OVP has hired a market manager to oversee the sales and distribution of organic vegetables to Associated Students (AS) Dining Services including Whitney Dining, Marketplace Café, AS Catering, and the community. Paid for by the CSU, Chico student body, the Associated Students Sustainability Fund awards up to $80,000 annually to students dedicated to initiating sustainable practices at Chico State and within the Chico community.

The Organic Vegetable Project currently sells their produce to Associated Students Dining Services and to the public at two weekly farmers markets located at the University Farm off  Hegan Lane (Fridays 9-3), and in front of the Student Services building on campus (Wednesdays 10-1).

Organic Vege Garden

Currently farming 2 acres of land, the OVP has been allotted up to 10 acres at the CSU, Chico farm by the Chico State College of Agriculture.