December 14, 2021
Enduring the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of building resilient communities. At the MMC Wellness Garden, we believe one of the most effective ways to do so is to educate our community in the art and science of growing our own food. The team has put a lot of work into revamping our Healthy Growers Training program, a four-week long course that covers the basics of vegetable gardening. Although the original curriculum discussed key topics in gardening such as soil amending, plant care, fertilization, composting, and pest control, we felt that more could be included to cultivate a more holistic understanding of the wellness of the entire garden ecosystem. This new curriculum includes material on soil health, IPM, companion planting, plant anatomy, and produce safety, as well as regenerative gardening and agroecology techniques that are being promoted by institutions such as the USDA NRCS to restore ecological health to farmland and fight climate change through soil carbon sequestration. One of our student assistants and four interns brought on this fall semester through the Let’s Grow Healthy and Dietetic Internship programs just completed the new training. Our plan is to offer the training to the public beginning in spring semester to help the entire CSUN community grow a greener thumb and cultivate resilience!