UBC Undergraduate Research

Agronomy Garden Expansion Bateson, Daniel; Fan, Yue (Stephanie); Wang, Grace; Wilaingam, Nuttamon (Belle)


The Agronomy Garden is a small student- run community garden that’s located at the corner of Main Mall and Agronomy road. The garden is not only a place where people can grow their own food, but also a place where people can learn, interact and build long lasting friendships. As the garden has been operating for almost a year now, it’s time to expand the area so the efficiency and productivity of the current garden can be further improved. In order to develop a comprehensive expansion plan, various research methods are used, including examining the current garden, conducting secondary research regarding best practices for community gardens as well as reviewing various regulations and guidelines. An electronic survey and one on one in person interviews are also conduct to find out what people desire for the expansion, such as the types of plants and facilities. In addition, the following report will also include a construction plan, a production plan, a harvesting plan, a distribution plan, waste management strategies, and a breakdown of the budget. An electronic survey has been distributed via social media and email to obtain demographic users information of the agronomy garden as well as how the public would like the garden to be expanded. Results from the survey show that many are interested in the installation of picnic tables, shaded seatings, shared plot, and swings. In addition, around 50% of the respondents have indicated interest in seeing more herbs and root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes around the garden. Other popular plants include fruits, legumes and leafy greens. On the other hand, results from the semi- structured interviews with stakeholders have allowed us to identify some of the success and challenges that the garden has undergone in its first year. In addition, stakeholders would like to increase the productivity and functionality of the garden, create a welcoming space as well as increase student engagement. Lastly, findings from the literature reviews have provided us with insights regarding best gardening techniques that’s suitable for the West Coast Climate. These include using raised beds as well as when to plant and how to group crops together. Finally, this report will provide some recommendations for future actions and research in the area of conducting surveys, garden layout, garden committee organizations, and some possible collaborations with faculties and other organizations. To ensure the longevity of the garden, a committee with stable and devoted members must be established. For the garden layout, seatings such as swings, picnic tables, and shaded seating is recommended. furthermore, the addition of more shared plots is recommended and this can be done with raised beds. Raised beds also allow individuals to conduct independent projects while allow easy separation of different plants into different beds. Finally, working in the community garden can serve as an learning opportunity for students in other courses, such as LFS 350 or APBI 402. Lastly, future research regarding the expansion of the Agronomy garden may focus on larger sample size with participants from different faculties, instead of largely from the Land and Food Systems Faculty. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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