Fullerton Arboretum

The Fullerton Arboretum—CSUF’s on-campus 26-acre botanical garden—is a focal point for U-ACRE. Since 2009, the Arboretum has been growing organic produce in large quantities for distribution to the surrounding community. The Fullerton Arboretum has become crucial in bringing together faculty, students, and community partners to conduct research and outreach around the Orange County area. The Arboretum provides land, farming expertise, and class space to members and community partners of the U-ACRE Project.

For more information about the Fullerton Arboretum, visit fullertonarboretum.org Opens in new window .


Service Learning Opportunities

for students in ANTH 315 Culture and Nutrition, ANTH 458 Sustainable Urban Food Systems, and ANTH 459 Anthropology of Food and Nutrition.
Students from ANTH 315, 458, and 459 along with service learning students participate in:
  1. Farm tasks (soil augmentation, weeding, harvesting, planting, irrigation) and connections will be made to nutrient cycling, integrated pest management, biological control, food security, food sovereignty, and nutritional sufficiency.    
  2. Data collection to measure plant growth, harvest weights, and water usage. This will allow us to estimate farm productivity and contrast it with food production techniques across time and space.
  3. Community engagement through working together with staff from Monkey Business Café Opens in new window to understand the farm to fork I-CAN Project Opens in new window as a community food system designed to improve environmental, economic, social, and nutritional health.
Additionally, ANTH 315 students have the opportunity to participate in research projects of U-ACRE undergraduate and graduate students.

U-ACRE Fellow Research at the Fullerton Arboretum

Fellow Research involves evaluating and promoting soil health through testing for mineral composition and soil quality. Our goal is to understand the effects of cover crops and compost application in addition to other farming techniques. We utilize soil testing pre- and post- cover crops, and compost application as well as across space and growing cycles to determine the efficacy of agricultural practices to enhance soil fertility. Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) reduces agricultural productivity in California Opens in new window and it is the 16th most disruptive weed worldwide PDF File Opens in new window . We are utilizing traditional intercropping methods to examine the allelopathic properties of sweet potatoes and sorghum to reduce yellow nutsedge infestation. We are quantifying the amount of nutsedge emerging by counting plants in every one meter square of 140 square meter area. Our research is predicated on: 1) traditional knowledge of agriculture and soil characteristics employed by people to reduce nutsedge infestation using sweet potatoes and sorghum and 2) agricultural research into the allelopathic properties of sweet potatoes and sorghum. We are quantifying the nutsedge in our test grid over an infested area in response to proximity to sweet potato and sorghum.
We are working to create a sustainable urban food system around a social enterprise restaurant by tracking the inputs (space, water, soil augmentation, and human capital) and the outputs (pace of growth, agricultural productivity, available nutrients, and increased human capital) of urban agriculture in coordination with the I-CAN Project Opens in new window .


Dissemination of Research Findings

From the Steward of Place Internship and Research Expo with the Center for Sustainability