Students who do not mind playing in the dirt can now plant and grow their own vegetables on campus. The organization Grow Beach is blossoming into a student-accessible, agriculturally sustainable campus garden, said Elizabeth Flores, president and board chair of Grow Beach at California State University, Long Beach.
According to the Grow Beach website, the garden is a campus-wide effort to provide a natural and convenient garden for students.
“The growing is going very well,” Flores said. “We are at about a 45-percent occupancy rate and were doing a big publicity push this month to get that bumped up.”
Natalie Baugh, publicity chair of Grow Beach said empty plots need to be filled.
“Because we have so many plots, we have a lot of availability,” said Baugh. “So we’re just in the process of trying to recruit more renters.”
Grow Beach is notifying students looking to take advantage of the campus agricultural garden about what types of plants tend to thrive in the cold, winter months.
“It’s actually getting cold now, so no more tomatoes,” Flores said. “There’s lots of lettuces and root vegetables like carrots, turnips, radishes, beets, greens like kale and chard, they like the colder, longer nights. That’s the kind of stuff that a lot of people are putting in right now.”
By winter the infrastructure of the garden will be equipped with a new main front gate and a shed on the property, Flores said.
Flores said that part of the gardening agreement bans certain invasive or larger plants.
“But other than that it’s up to the gardener,” Flores said. “They can grow fruits and vegetables and beneficial flowers because we want them to bring butterflies and bees in to act as pollinators so you can have pretty flowers in your garden too.”
Some good winter flower choices to grow in California are Acacia, Alstroemeria, Amaryllis, Carnation, Cyclamen, Evergreens, Orchid, Casa Blanca Lily Roses and Protea, according to the California Flower Mall website.
Students can rent individual plots or rent a plot with a group of friends. The rental fee includes access to watering, garden tools and waste disposal amenities, according to the Grow Beach website.
The Grow Beach garden consists of 85 plots, with about half of them already taken and the other half ready to be planted. Applications are printable online now at the CSULB website to rent a plot for $25.