Santa Clara University’s ½-acre edible, organic garden is a hub for sustainable food system education. Established in 2008, the Forge Garden has committed to serve the campus as a space for course research, service learning, and demonstration of sustainable food production.
The Forge Garden currently has six chickens, four beehives, a 400-square foot greenhouse, a compost center, over 20 fruit trees, over 15,000-square feet of garden beds, a public commons, an aquaponic system, an outdoor kitchen, and the 2007 Solar Decathlon House used as an office.
"I really love being able to share what I’ve learned with the volunteers and farm stand patrons. I’ve learned so much this year...the garden has really helped me find my passions and what I actually want to do when I grow up."
Pounds of produce harvested
Pounds of produce donated
Pounds of produce sold to SCU Dining Services
Farm Stand visitors
Every week, produce is available at our donation-based farm stand from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. The Farm Stand is open to all with a suggested donation price of $2 per lb and $1 per bunch. Our policy is to pay what you can. We accept cash and check.
Occasionally, our produce is featured in SCU Dining Services by Bon Appetit student meals at The Marketplace in the Benson Memorial Center.
Weekly donations are made to SCU’s Bronco Pantry and SCU Eats. These food pantries aim to reduce the number food insecure students on Santa Clara University campus.
Each week our Bronco Urban Gardens staff goes door-to-door to donate Forge grown produce and share recipes with the families living at Home Safe women's transitional housing center.
In Spring Quarter of 2016, we launched our first ever intern program. The Forge Garden Internship Program is designed to teach students not only urban agriculture skills but also to be student leaders within the SCU community. Interns pick an area of interest to specialize in for the quarter, such as compost or greenhouse management. The intern team meets bi-weekly to discuss readings on various urban agriculture topics such as Integrated Pest Managements and Crop Rotation. Interns share their knowledge with student volunteers during the drop-in volunteer hours. Interns design, promote and lead the Forge Friday event series which is geared towards students.
Our workshops focus on urban agriculture skills, cooking and garden crafts. If you have an idea for a workshop, let us know!
Past workshops included:
- Container gardening with herbs
- Growing a winter garden
- Garden Gifts for the Holiday
- Gardening for native bees
- Herbs to Cure the Common Cold
- Lip Balm and Herbal Salves
The Forge Garden is utilized as an outdoor classroom, research space, and living laboratory.
Academic Departments and Programs that have held classes at The Forge Garden:
- Environmental Studies and Sciences
- Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries
- Liberal Studies
- Public Health Science
- Religious Studies
- Theatre & Dance
“The Comparative Religion and Environmentalism course (RSOC 64) visited The Forge Garden as a class, plus as one of several options for environmentally engaged learning for an environmental field report assignment. The garden class session in Winter 2016 offered students an opportunity to pull cover crops and plant seeds, participating in living systems after weeks of considering environmentally sustainable activities in religious communities. In Spring 2016, the class welcomed Buddhist guest speakers for an introduction to mindful sitting and walking practices, which were all the more relevant and relatable in such an inspiring, richly textured, verdant place where people, animals, plants, bees, beneficial insects, and soil microorganisms all find nourishment." - Sarah Robinson, Adjunct Lecturer, Religious Studies
Community Development and Food Justice
The Forge Garden engages the community through a variety of workshops, events, and programs. The garden organizes several quarterly workshops about a variety of gardening and farming topics, acts as a program hub for Bronco Urban Gardens, serves as an Arrupe Engagement site for the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education's community-based learning objective,and hosts other service-learning and team-building activities.
The garden also participates in special events related to Food Day, Campus Sustainability Day, and Alumni Service Day, as well as hosting annual programs like plant sales, the Fall Harvest Party, Spring Open House, and the Sustainability Celebration & Champion Awards.
Forge Advisory Board
2015-16 marked the first year of The Forge Advisory Board. The advisory board consists of faculty, staff and students that are committed to The Forge Garden mission. The goal of the advisory board is to to promote and advocate for The Forge Garden in SCU community and to support mission and plans of the Forge Garden. The board has helped make discussions about workshops held at The Forge, the workplan for the student interns and farm stand pricing structure.
Nothing beats a quiet afternoon in the garden! Drop by The Forge Garden for open volunteer hours. All are welcome. Possible activities include planting winter crops, building compost piles, spreading mulch, harvesting and seeding in the greenhouse. Come ready to work with sturdy shoes, a hat, sunscreen, a water bottle and clothes that can get dirty. Questions? Contact Katharine at firstname.lastname@example.org. See you in the garden!
Is your group looking to get outside, learn a new skill, and bond over worms? Contact us at email@example.com if you would like to schedule a volunteer service group. We work with RLCs, on campus staff departments, student clubs, local high schools and other interested groups.
Best Buddies program
The Forge Garden and SCCAP have partnered with Santa Clara County Office of Education students with disabilities. Students work alongside young adults with disabilities in the garden 2 days a week. Volunteer tasks included mulching, sweeping, and weeding. Each quarter ends with a garden party celebration.
The monthly Forge Fridays Cooking in the Garden is a chance for our community to come together to harvest, cook and eat a meal made from the garden. Our hope to to educated students, staff, faculty and community members on many ways to cook the various fruits and vegetables that we grow in the garden. By sharing a meal in the garden we create a stronger and healthier community. Forge Fridays are free and open to all! Check our calendar for dates and details.