What we do

  • Integrate growing local foods and broader food-sustainability issues into education at the university via hands-on learning.
  • Advocate for food justice, and promote community gardening, fruit tree planting, and composting.
  • Research traditional agricultural practices.
  • Cultivate broad participation and durable networks of support so that they are able to flourish for many years.
  • Enhance collaboration with the broader community, particularly Flagstaff Foodlink and Community Gardeners.

What we grow and how we grow it

The SSLUG Garden promotes sustainable food systems through demonstration of organic growing methods in a campus setting. Hands-on participation in planting, harvesting, seed collecting, and soil amendment activities enable volunteers to learn how to grow a variety of food crops in a challenging high-elevation climate. The Garden features short-season heirloom vegetables, medicinal and culinary herbs, climate-appropriate fruit trees and berries, along with native wildflowers and shrubs. Since Flagstaff has a relatively short growing season (103 days), many of the plants are sown from seed in the NAU Greenhouses in the spring and cared for by volunteers until they are ready to be planted in the garden in early June.

Garden features

  • Permaculture design serves human needs without degrading environment
  • Composting system using Campus Dining waste keeps kitchen/ garden waste out of the landfills and improves soil health
  • Organic gardening methods: no chemical fertilizers or pesticide/herbicide use
  • Pollinator garden supports improved vegetable and fruit harvests and serves as a haven for pollinating insects and birds
  • Rainwater catchment system provides supplemental irrigation
  • Outdoor classroom and gathering place for students, faculty and staff

Where does the food go?

Beginning in 2014, produce will be donated through Louie’s Cupboard, the newly established food pantry at NAU. Garden volunteers are invited to harvest from the garden for their personal use and well-being. Additional produce is donated to garden supporters and the Flagstaff Family Food Center.