Rice University Community Gardens

Rice University Community Gardens The Rice University Campus is home to three community gardens: (1) Martel Garden, on Sunset Boulevard behind Martel College; (2) Hanszen Garden, on Alumni Drive near Hanszen College and alongside the South Servery; (3) Wiess Garden, on the curve of Alumni Drive, at the perimeter of Wiess College.

The gardens are maintained by Rice University faculty, staff, students and supporters from the community. Each fall and spring, Dr. Jennifer Rudgers leads a course, "EBIO/ENST 204 Environmental Sustainability: The design and practice of community agriculture." This course, co-instructed by Nancy Rowe and Liz Tussey, introduces students to the fundamentals of community garden design and practice. Students' responsibilities center on developing and improving the Rice Community Gardens. There is a strong emphasis on learning and applying ecological principles to the practice of community agriculture. Topics change each semester, but include issues such as include pest control and food web ecology, building sustainable soil, and maximizing yield in an urban environment. Students form gardening teams, each of which manage one of the three current campus gardens. Within these groups, garden management includes: garden design and crop planning/rotation, effective soil building and composting, organic and sustainable weed and pest control, creating habitat to attract beneficial insects.

Mission: The mission of the Rice University Community Gardens is to inspire students and community members to learn about the ecological principles and inter-personal dynamics that influence community agriculture. We strive to shape the Rice University garden ecosystem in ways that allow us to contribute locally grown produce to the campus food supply. Students and volunteers gain lifelong gardening skills.

Operating as usual

Here's an article on the UH gardens!
04/30/2014
Needville native develops UH green thumbs

Here's an article on the UH gardens!

Hall, a biology major who plans to graduate this May, started her position last fall through the University of Houston's Office of Sustainability. The organic community garden, located next to the Cougar Woods Dining Hall, is on the northeast corner of Cullen and Wheeler, on the southwest side of th…

Visit PLANT IT FORWARD FARMS @ University of St Thomas1318 Sul Ross St, Houston TX 770061/2 acre at the corner of Yupon ...
04/29/2014
Plant It Forward Farms

Visit PLANT IT FORWARD FARMS @ University of St Thomas
1318 Sul Ross St, Houston TX 77006
1/2 acre at the corner of Yupon and Sul Ross

"Plant It Forward provides Houston with fresh, local produce by helping refugees grow their own urban farm businesses. Each farmer is trained to farm using organic methods and sell their produce through farmers markets, farm stands, restaurants, and farm shares."

Eat Local. Support Refugees.

Learning how to save seeds is easy, fun and lowers the cost of your garden.  Here's advice on how to save seeds for most...
03/09/2014

Learning how to save seeds is easy, fun and lowers the cost of your garden. Here's advice on how to save seeds for most plants: http://www.seedsavers.org/Education/Seed-Saving-Instructions/

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization with a mission to conserve and promote America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.

Urban Harvest
03/04/2014

Urban Harvest

Eat a rainbow for your health!

"Dirt is Destiny" on Monday, Feb 10th from 4-5 PM in 123 Anderson Biology
02/06/2014

"Dirt is Destiny" on Monday, Feb 10th from 4-5 PM in 123 Anderson Biology

It's quite true that we're only as good as our dirt, so check out the upcoming lecture "Dirt is Destiny" on Monday, Feb 10th from 4-5 PM in 123 Anderson Biology. Click on the flier for details. And keep your "dirty talk" jokes to yourself...

Sustainability at Rice University
01/29/2014

Sustainability at Rice University

Save the date! Find out what options we have on campus that can fit your healthy lifestyle. Learn more about terms like “free-range” and “organic” and what they really mean. Promotional items will be offered to encourage healthy choices. 2/12 at noon, Anderson Bio 131. See the flier for details!

Composting is satisfying, good exercise, and such a good way to build nutritious garden soil at no cost.
01/27/2014
50 Things You Can Compost

Composting is satisfying, good exercise, and such a good way to build nutritious garden soil at no cost.

If you're wondering which common household items are good for the compost bin, this article is full of ideas for you.

Check out this interesting graphic on categories of corn and varieties you can grow.
01/25/2014

Check out this interesting graphic on categories of corn and varieties you can grow.

Nice visual of the Native Seeds/SEARCH corn collection. Thank you Melissa.

Urban Harvest
01/24/2014

Urban Harvest

From our e-newsletter today about the cold! Urban Harvest garden experts offer the following advice: Water a day ahead of a cold snap; create windbreaks from North winds; surround young trees with a wire mesh or tomato cage then wrap with cloth and plastic; place jugs or buckets of water near the trunks; fill wrapped trees with lightweight leaves or pine needles. Most cold weather vegetables will thrive as long as they have been recently watered. Other techniques include placing large trash cans or pots over sensitive plants; spreading dry leaves or pine needles around the plants to keep soil moist and warm. For more info, visit Gardening Advice and fruit tree varieties.

03/19/2013

What's growing in your garden that you're really excited to harvest?

Trellises look beautiful in the garden and increase production in crops like pole beans, sugar snap peas, and much more!
02/26/2013

Trellises look beautiful in the garden and increase production in crops like pole beans, sugar snap peas, and much more!

Sustainable For Life

Low cost solutions for growing your own

GROW, ENJOY, SHARE.... the beauty and the bounty
http://www.bbbseed.com/

Rebecca Self, an MIT grad, is launching an aquaponics farm in Lexington, Kentucky with a little help from the University...
07/09/2012
Tom Eblen: Non-profit prepares to launch aquaponics farm in West Sixth Brewing complex | Tom Eblen |

Rebecca Self, an MIT grad, is launching an aquaponics farm in Lexington, Kentucky with a little help from the University of Kentucky's sustainable agriculture program and Kentucky State University aquaculture students. Knowing Rice students and alums, I'm sure they're also synergizing with people across the globe to bring great projects like this into fruition. Keep up the great work, everyone!

When her husband and his partners were planning West Sixth Brewery last year, Rebecca Self realized that the 90,000-square-foot former bread factory they bought to house it could help her achieve some entrepreneurial dreams.

Slow Food Bluegrass
07/08/2012

Slow Food Bluegrass

Strawberry watermelons... Trellising is a fun way to grow watermelons, cucumbers, and pie pumpkins.

What are your favorite gardening books?Our unofficial manual to gardening in Houston has always been Dr. Bob Randall's "...
07/06/2012
About Year Round Gardening

What are your favorite gardening books?
Our unofficial manual to gardening in Houston has always been Dr. Bob Randall's "Year Round Gardening for Metro Houston". It's full of good information that is applicable anywhere you garden. And for any non-native Houston gardener the text is almost essential! What you grow Houston's summer, fall, winter and spring is quite different from many other locales.
If you need a copy, message us because we sometimes have extras for sale at face value (~$30) for pick-up on the Rice campus.
Happy gardening!
http://yearroundgardening.wordpress.com/about/

This site is operated by Bob Randall, Ph.D. to make it easy to get information about the book Year Round Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers for Metro-Houston: A Natural Organic Approach Using Ecology. ...

This is very sad news about Georgia Bost, Rice alum and sustainable food pioneer.  A couple of years ago the Rice Commun...
05/26/2012
R.I.P. Georgia Bost, Founder of Georgia's Texas Grassfed Beef and Georgia's Farm to Market

This is very sad news about Georgia Bost, Rice alum and sustainable food pioneer. A couple of years ago the Rice Community Gardens class spent a wonderful day with Georgia and her husband Rick at their Georgia's Farm To Market grocery and their Hisbiscus Hill Plantation. Such people to look up to!

Houston has lost a visionary, a pioneer and a truly kind-hearted soul: Georgia Bost, the amazing woman behind...

To help pollinators we let some crops like cilantro and broccoli stay in the garden for a while after they flower becaus...
05/16/2012

To help pollinators we let some crops like cilantro and broccoli stay in the garden for a while after they flower because the insects love their flowers! We also plant habitat beds with plants that attract beneficial insects. Anything else you guys do? Anything specific you suggest?

Pollinator Week is coming.... Pollinator Week is coming.....

June 18th - 24th POLLINATORS NEED YOU!

What are you doing to Help Raise Awareness......
The Importance of our Pollinators

The University of St. Thomas gardens are quite young.  I visited the site for the first time in Aril 2011 when the Unive...
05/13/2012

The University of St. Thomas gardens are quite young. I visited the site for the first time in Aril 2011 when the University of Houston put on a campus Community Gardens Summit. I have visited several more times since. The UST gardens are at Yupon and Sul Ross, just NE of the Rothko Chapel.

The University of St. Thomas gardens are quite young. I visited the site for the first time in Aril 2011 when the University of Houston put on a campus Community Gardens Summit. I have visited several more times since. The UST gardens are at Yupon and Sul Ross, just NE of the Rothko Chapel.

 These pictures are of the Community Gardens at Levy Park, which are a stone's throw from the Urban Harvest Farmer's Mar...
05/13/2012

These pictures are of the Community Gardens at Levy Park, which are a stone's throw from the Urban Harvest Farmer's Market at Eastside and Richmond on Saturdays (http://urbanharvest.org/farmmarket/farmmarket.html). These gardens are not part of the Rice Community Gardens, but they are other Urban Harvest affiliate gardens. These gardens are one of several community gardens that belong to the Houston Parks District (http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/urbangardener/urbangardener_Current.html)

These pictures are of the Community Gardens at Levy Park, which are a stone's throw from the Urban Harvest Farmer's Market at Eastside and Richmond on Saturdays (http://urbanharvest.org/farmmarket/farmmarket.html). These gardens are not part of the Rice Community Gardens, but they are other Urban Harvest affiliate gardens. These gardens are one of several community gardens that belong to the Houston Parks District (http://www.houstontx.gov/parks/urbangardener/urbangardener_Current.html)

Not at Rice but nearby, there is another Urban Harvest affiliate garden called Meredith Gardens.  On a day off work I dr...
05/13/2012

Not at Rice but nearby, there is another Urban Harvest affiliate garden called Meredith Gardens. On a day off work I dropped by to check out what was growing. It seemed to be doing great!

Not at Rice but nearby, there is another Urban Harvest affiliate garden called Meredith Gardens. On a day off work I dropped by to check out what was growing. It seemed to be doing great!

Martel Garden, 4/5/12
05/13/2012

Martel Garden, 4/5/12

05/04/2012
Sustainability-Focused Academic Programs in Agriculture

There are a few degree and certificate programs in Sustainable Agriculture offered in the USA and abroad.

Have you taken classes beyond Rice's Sustainable Agriculture/Community Gardens class (EBIO/ENST 204) that deepened your understanding of sustainable agriculture?

I can suggest Rice's class "Ecology" (EBIO 325) as a good foundational class. I've enjoyed every class I've taken at Urban Harvest, too.

This page displays Sustainability-Focused Academic Programs on agriculture from AASHE's database of Sustainability-Focused Academic Programs.

It's heating up outside!  Here's what spinach looks like when it bolts (produces a flowering stem that'll make seeds).  ...
04/29/2012

It's heating up outside! Here's what spinach looks like when it bolts (produces a flowering stem that'll make seeds). Once a plant bolts, it doesn't produce tasty leaves in the same way it used to.

If you didn't get your spinach today at Eastside, your time's up! These plants are bolted

Lawmakers look at ways to make city farming easier
04/20/2012
Lawmakers look at ways to make city farming easier

Lawmakers look at ways to make city farming easier

For the first time anyone could recall, the Texas House Agriculture and Livestock committee had a joint hearing with the House Urban Affairs committee to discuss ways to help expand community gardens and urban farming. Community gardening in inner cities has gained momentum in most big cities aroun...

As a UChicago alum, I'm proud to see interesting food sustainability research happening there!
04/19/2012
Students help Chicago restaurants go green

As a UChicago alum, I'm proud to see interesting food sustainability research happening there!

An unusual UChicago course sequence is delving into the economic, environmental, and logistical challenges facing city businesses that want to implement sustainable practices. Working directly with prominent local restaurants and business leaders, the students aim to help create a green certificatio...

The Physicality of Farming
04/09/2012
The Physicality of Farming

The Physicality of Farming

After bending, pulling, grabbing, twisting, lifting, squatting, tossing, and catching for days, you learn the importance of adequate sleep and eating well during the spring harvest season.

Presenting the largest rooftop farm … in the world!!!
04/08/2012
Presenting the largest rooftop farm … in the world!!!

Presenting the largest rooftop farm … in the world!!!

In Brooklyn yesterday, BrightFarms announced that it would be building the largest rooftop farm … in the world!!! The New York-based company builds hydroponic greenhouse farms that are connected ...

Sustainable Living Fest
04/08/2012
Sustainable Living Fest

Sustainable Living Fest

Do you love local? Then come celebrate Houston Genius. FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Saint Arnold, Niko Niko's, live music, recycled fashion show & much much more!

A former Rice gardener talks about a typical day of her farm internship on an island off the coast of Seattle.
04/08/2012
day to day

A former Rice gardener talks about a typical day of her farm internship on an island off the coast of Seattle.

It has been two weeks since I’ve moved to the farm. Everyday is different, but there is a general routine that we follow. 6.30-6.45am: Wake up to all of the roosters crowing. And crowing and ...

Civil Eats  » Blog Archive   » Making a Career in School Gardens
04/04/2012
Civil Eats » Blog Archive » Making a Career in School Gardens

Civil Eats » Blog Archive » Making a Career in School Gardens

Civil Eats promotes critical thought about sustainable agriculture and food systems as part of building economically and socially just communities. In our efforts, we support the development of a dialog among local and national leaders about the American food system, and its effects abroad. Civil Ea...

A good, quick read on what's gone down with "pink slime" and what lies ahead.
04/04/2012
The Pink Menace

A good, quick read on what's gone down with "pink slime" and what lies ahead.

That pink slime exists in burgers is bad enough, but the more serious issue is why it exists at all.

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