Organic Learning Garden


Welcome to the SMC Organic Learning Garden

Erick in GardenThis new eco-facility is an opportunity for the entire SMC community to participate in practical learning, to grow our own food, to exercise sustainability, and to better understand food systems and the impact they have on our planet, bodies, and culture.

The garden is part of SMC’s effort to make all our facilities teaching tools that express our educational values and commitment to environmental excellence.

The Garden consists of about 1,200 square feet of planting space, including several planting options — raised beds, containers, mounded beds, and constructed herb gardens. There are currently 14 plots in the garden, which are distributed by the Organic Learning Garden Oversight Committee. Participants can apply for plots in the Fall or Spring semester. Generally, plots are assigned for the following terms: Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer.

The Organic Learning Garden

Urban Beekeeping 101 with Dael Wilcox

Students Feeding Students

According to the Organic Learning Garden Two Year Plan, “We, the students of Santa Monica College, want to learn to grow our own food so that we can make our communities self-sustaining, have access to fresh and healthy food, reconnect to the earth, our food, our traditions, and experience the happiness that comes from being connected to the beauty and wholeness of nature and each other as we work together in our gardens.”

In today’s food system, items can travel anywhere from 1500 up to 5000 miles before landing on our plate for dinner, these “food miles” contribute to climate change and make learning to grow our own food an essential tool in building a more sustainable future. Food miles is a term which refers to the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer. Food miles are one factor used when assessing the environmental impact of food, including the impact on climate change.

Interested in applying?

Read the steps below and download the application:

Gardent Plot Application

Illustration of SMC Organic Garden 

How to Get Started Growing in the SMC Organic Learning Garden

Step 1: Read the rules and regulations.

Step 2: Attend a Club Grow meeting on Tuesdays at 11.15am and ask for garden tour from one of the student leaders. This will help you learn more about the garden. If that time does not work for you, alternatively, you can contact the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies to arrange a tour.

Step 3: Complete and submit a garden plot application with a completed group roster (minimum 5 participants) to Ferris Kawar at the SMC Center for Environmental and Urban Studies.

Step 4: If your plot application is approved, you will receive a confirmation email confirming your roster and contact info and detailing next steps.

Step 5: Attend a mandatory Garden Orientation with one of the garden advisors. Minimum 3 group members must attend, all group members should attend if possible. Print the waiver form. Bring signed waiver form to group orientation. All members of the group are required to sign the form. During the orientation you will get to know your plot and being improving the soil. Plantings should't

Step 6: Bring any additional waivers and planting ideas to the Garden Orientation. Please note that a waiver must be signed by every member working in the garden. The purpose of the Organic Learning Garden is to learn to grow food and plants should be SEASONAL, EDIBLE, and ORGANIC.

Step 7: Join the SMC Garden Facebook page.

Step 8: GET GROWING! Consultations are always available if you have questions. Someone from Club Grow or the Garden Managers can help you get started.

Additional Assistance

SMC OLG/Club Grow Meetings and Work Days:

Tuesday: 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Thursday: 11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Organic Learning Garden Contacts:

To request a tour or garden information, contact: 

Student Garden Manager

Ferris Kawar - SMC Sustainability Manager

OLG Student Manager 

Helpful Resources: