History of Roger's Community Garden
Reasons for Founding RCG
Roger's Community Garden started in 2008 after our initial student founders secured a grant leasing the property in the Southern Eucalyptus Grove of UCSD's Revelle College. At first, RCG was a small student community garden, a place where students could come together and grow fresh, organic food on campus. Soon, several other gardens also popped up in each of the residential colleges, enabling more students to take up gardening.
During the period between 2013 and 2019, RCG began to expand the scope of gardening activities. We installed irrigation pipelines and additional garden beds to support a much greater volume of produce. RCG now donates all extra produce from public plots to the Triton Food Pantry and Triton Food Recovery Network to combat student hunger in those who either didn't have the time, money, or interest in gardening. We also branched out into more novel, small-scale agricultural projects such as aquaponics systems and gourmet mushrooms.
RCG is partnered with the Bioregional Center for Sustainable Research, Planning, and Design within the Urban Studies and Planning Department at UCSD. We work in tandem with faculty and administration to ensure transparency and cooperation with university guidelines.
Computer Science for Agriculture
Computer Science for Agriculture (CSA) exists to create a tie-in for computer science students, organizations, and faculty looking to integrate their computer science/engineering into environmental and food-based projects. CSA works broadly within the computer science field with students and groups dedicated to in-lab research. Many of our projects haven't been done on a wide-spread scale, so students are learning how to build, code, and design hardware and software packages in issues rarely worked on before.
Programming: C++, Python, Linux Kernal
Hardware: Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Sensors, Solenoids, Relays
Furthermore, students can also work in in-field research: deployment of sensors, mapping, data collection, and troubleshooting with the other various student projects (aeroponics, anaerobic digestion, hydroponics, etc.) At CSA, the focus is not only collecting useful data, but developing web/app-based methods to relay and make that data coherent. Eventually, there are goals to start designing machine-learning algorithm to automate portions of the garden.
RCG is working on expanding and better integrating with the UCSD community at large. At RCG, we hope to design small spaces on campus to utilize UCSD's micro-climate to grow crops and provide relaxation and study spaces for students.
We also work with our sister garden, Ocean View Growing Grounds, to ensure a larger segment of the San Diego population has continuing access to fresh produce. Projects are first proposed and designed at RCG, and once proven, are built on a larger and more cost-effective scale at OVGG.
Realizing the problems caused by a rapidly increasing global population, University of California President Janet Napolitano has set up two system-wide goals:
Global Food Initiative - develop solutions to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach eight billion by 2025.
Carbon Neutral Initiative - make the University of California system carbon-neutral by 2025.
Furthermore, RCG hopes to make an impact on UCSD's climate goals. The UC Office of the President has asked campuses to reduce carbon emissions in a bid to become carbon-neutral by 2025. While there are some major ways to cut down on carbon, we simply cannot reach a net zero without taking into account food.
That's why RCG is proud to say we have both Carbon Neutrality and Global Food Initiative Fellows working to solve the problem of food waste and post-consumer waste emissions.