R’Garden, a space for UCR students, faculty and staff to grow fresh produce, has made plans to expand their current space. R’Garden is currently located northwest of Parking Lot 30.
It sums up to a total of three acres and includes community garden plots, a greenhouse and a Valencia orange grove. The new expansion gives R’Garden an additional four more acres.
In an interview with the Highlander, Superintendent of Agricultural Row Crop Richard Zapien stated that R’Garden is located at Agricultural Operations in field 7G and that they have plans to expand on their current space. Zapien stated that R’Garden plans to make this expansion because they “have a goal to grow, produce and supply the dining department.”
In an interview with the Highlander, Peggy Mauk, the cooperative extension specialist for subtropical crops and agricultural operations director, stated that some of the produce will be provided to R’Pantry. She said that the additional space was originally made available because we were awarded state funding from SB 85 to provide produce for students or staff that are in need. She claimed, “It continues to be important because UCR can buy local produce, provide fresh high quality produce for dining halls and support the local economy.”
Zapien hopes that this expansion can educate students, staff and the Riverside community as well as “show sustainability within UCR.” Mauk also added that the row crop section of R’Garden will continue to focus on producing organic vegetables for R’Pantry. “R’Garden will continue to be space for the community to garden, to teach and train students, provide a space for students to gather and learn about food systems, sustainability and how to produce fruits and vegetables,” stated Mauk.