The Crops Unit has 70 acres of productive citrus, avocados, grapes, deciduous orchard, and berries. Additional nonbearing acreage for instructional use exists and new plantings are underway. Part of the land is certified organic. Students are encouraged to gain experience and earn income by participation in the enterprise project program or by working for the campus farm. There is also a new building containing two modern teaching labs with prep rooms.
Environmental Horticulture Unit
The Environmental Horticulture Unit includes a student-operated commercial greenhouse range and nursery in which students carry on a project program involving wholesale and retail sales and a student-operated plant shop. Also included are 35,000 square feet of greenhouses, a 5,000 square-foot retractable roof greenhouse, 7,500 square feet of shade houses; a 10,000-square foot US Golf Association specification experimental green; an extensive field container growing area; and a 4-acre arboretum, the Leaning Pine Arboretum.
The department also has modern, well-equipped laboratories in the Agricultural Sciences Building and at the Units, including labs for biotechnology, landscape industries with CAD, pest management, post harvest technology, and plant materials. In addition to 200 acres of landscaped campus, an arboretum is also utilized as an outdoor laboratory. The campus is planted with many interesting and unusual trees and shrubs from all over the world, as well as native plant materials.
Poly Plant Shop is Cal Poly's on-campus source for cut flowers, landscape and interior plants. The Plant Shop offers students the opportunity to work in a retail environment to get hands-on experience in all aspects of garden center management and operation. True to the spirit of Cal Poly, it is a "Learn By Doing" full service plant shop.
Cal Poly Organic Farm
The Cal Poly Organic Farm now consists of approximately 11 acres of land used for vegetable and fruit production. Largely student managed, the Organic Farm is home to a variety of programs. Students enroll to study at the Farm through AEPS 203. Students can also become involved through the many workshops and seminars offered on a wide range of issues including composting, natural pest control, native plants, biointensive agriculture and permaculture design. Additionally, students may wish to volunteer for work activities or enjoy the farm at their own schedule.