Student Organic Garden Education Fund

Project Leads: Marie Koesnodihardjo, Eleanor Lum, Josh Arnold, Bofan Chen

soga Sponsor: Student Organic Garden Association

TGIF Mini-Grant: $1,996.46

Project Theme: Education & Behavior Change

Project Location: The Student Organic Garden is located at the corner of Walnut and Virginia in Berkeley.

2013 Application Submission

Status: Complete

Project Description: The TGIF Mini Grant will enable the facilitators of the Intro to Organic Gardening DeCal to provide students with a more complete garden education that they can use to further their own involvement in urban agriculture. There is no substitute for a hands-on learning experience, especially when the topic of food systems involves environmental, health, and social components. Skills learned in the Student Organic Garden will allow students to grow their own food and guide garden interns to be more informed members of their respective community organizations. Funds will be used to purchase the garden supplies such as tools, seeds, and soil necessary to provide this desired learning environment.


  1. Successfully offer a safe and high quality Intro to Organic Gardening DeCal in the spring 2014 semester
  2. Facilitate educational programs in the Student Organic Garden for students and the greater East Bay community, with a focus on the surrounding neighborhood
  3. Establish continuing maintenance and upkeep of the Student Organic Garden throughout the year.

SOGA Photos

2014 Progress

  • The Student Organic Gardening Association currently runs two DeCals, with an enrollment of 159 students:
  • SOGA hosts open hours every Sunday for SOGA's 200 students and has hosted two workshops.
    • Medicinal Salve Making workshop at SOGA with 28 students
    • Vertical Gardening Workshop at the Stanford Community Farm with students from UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, and Stanford.
  • SOGA continues to have students represent SOGA on campus as speakers in Journalism 101, MCB 15, and has strengthened its relationships with the Berkeley Student Food Collective and the Berkeley Food Institute.
  • Students partnered with other sustainability groups on campus to further SOGA's educational goals/
    • Students partnered with organizations such as Conservation Resource Studies Student Organization (CRSSO) to start an on-campus gardening program and created an On-Campus Gardening DeCal for Fall 2014.
    • The partnership with the Berkeley Student Food Collective (BSFC) resulted in a wonderful end of the year meet up with BSFC and SOGA members to strengthen the community of students involved in the sustainable agriculture movement.  
  • Over 20 students started projects in the garden on topics ranging from cooking workshops, rebuilding compost bins, creating a website and promotional information, and creating a food systems minor.
  • Many of SOGA's students are involved in the Grow The Revolution movement on campus, with the goal to unite communities in Berkeley fighting for food justice. SOGA students also became involved with the Occupy the Farm movement to secure the Gill Tract in Albany, CA as a space for agricultural education.
  • SOGA reached out to the community by participating in Earth Week 2014 and is active on social media. The group also posts to its listserv weekly.
  • Daily Cal Op-Ed by Anika Rice: Urban Farm Acts as a Tool for Growth
  • Daily Cal article: Students, faculty spearhead new possible food systems and sustainability minor


Salve Making Workshop

Final Report

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.