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LEARN BY DOING

Ripe and Ready

FIRST STRAWBERRIES FROM CAMPUS CROP GO TO MARKET

The first strawberry harvest by the Cal Poly Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center blossomed into full production in March — proving to be an abundant one. The red, juicy, heart-shaped fruit is now available for purchase at Vons in San Luis Obispo and at multiple campus locations, including the twice weekly farm stand. The Cal Poly-grown fruit is also being incorporated into student dining. Director Gerald Holmes, researcher and Professor Kelly Ivors and a small staff of student assistants planted more than an acre and a half of the fruit on university farmland adjacent to Highway 1 in November 2014. “This first harvest shows that we can successfully grow strawberries at Cal Poly,” Holmes said. “The research that follows will be invaluable to future strawberry growers and the industry.” The Cal Poly Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center, in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences, focuses on applied research that incorporates both teaching and learning experiences for Cal Poly students, faculty and California strawberry farmers. The center is a joint partnership between Cal Poly and the California Strawberry Commission. In 2013 the California Strawberry Commission donated $1 million to create the Cal Poly Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center — a oneof-a-kind concept rooted in the hands-on learning model that defines Cal Poly. Cal Poly faculty and students are studying various fumigants used by farmers to eradicate pests such as insects as a way to provide an ecologically superior method of growing strawberries. Gerald Holmes (left) and Cal Poly research associate Ryan Brantley (right) deliver berries and smiles to Vons produce manager Mike Chew in San Luis Obispo.

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AGRIVIEW • S PRING 2 0 1 5

Agriview Spring 2015  

The quarterly newsletter of the Cal Poly College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences, a globally recognized center of excellence i...

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