The Student Farm has been a center for research in sustainable agriculture and food systems for over 30 years. With approximately 20 acres of land (including greenhouse space) under organic management, the farm’s research fields and greenhouse facilities have proved to be ideal for agro-ecological experiments in areas such as biological control of insects, cover cropping, composting, crop resistance to pests and other aspects of sustainable agriculture.
Undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty are welcome to conduct experiments at the Student Farm. These range from relatively simple short term experiments for students wishing to get a sense of field research to multi-disciplinary, multi-year projects looking at complex agro-ecological phenomena under different management practices. Student Farm staff can assist students and faculty in diverse ways. One distinct feature of the Student Farm is that students conducting field research are encouraged and supported to participate directly in the management of the crops and systems that they are studying (e.g. students typically participate in all phases of growing the crops they are studying).
Current research at the Student Farm includes projects examining competition between weeds and three cover crop species, using California native plants to attract native pollinators to agricultural field and developing methods for in-season nitrogen assessment and management in organic vegetable production.