Sustainable Living and Urban Gardening (SSLUG)
NAU Community Based Action Research Teamsites.google.com/NAUSSLUG
A Partnership between the Program in Community, Culture & Environment’s Sustainable Environments and Engaged Democracy (SEED) Freshman Learning Community and the Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities (SUS).
SSLUG is an NAU student group focused on maintaining a garden demonstration site and advocating for food justice on the NAU campus. They seek to collaborate with and learn from the broader Flagstaff food justice and gardening community. Their goal is to integrate growing local foods and broader food-sustainability issues into education at the university via hands on learning.
Students involved with SSLUG work on campus and in the broader Flagstaff community to promote practices such as community gardening, fruit tree planting, composting, research on traditional agricultural practices. A central project of this team is to promote modes of organizing these efforts in ways that cultivate broad participation and durable networks of support so that they are able to flourish for many years. Additionally, students work to enhance the collaborations between SSLUG’s efforts and those in the broader community, in particular Native Movement’s Urban Lifeways Project.
The SSLUG garden is maintained by a core of student volunteers, and organized by a coordinator. They maintain regular workdays, open to the public, wherein in participants can learn about growing food in Flagstaff and take home food. Throughout the last two seasons, about 40 students have occasionally participated at the garden.
The garden hosts heirloom annual food crops, climate appropriate fruit trees, native shrubs and flowers, rainwater harvesting, sunken and raised beds, a cold frame, composting, and intercropping techniques. The overall garden design is influenced by southwest indigenous agriculture and permaculture design.
Other SSLUG projects include helping restart the NAU composting program (composting food from NAU dining halls at the garden site), and creating pamphlets on Cold Frames in Flagstaff and Climate-Appropriate Vegetables. SSLUG has also held workshops and hosted various community groups for activities at the garden. Groups that have participated in projects at the SSLUG garden include: NAU classes Local Sustainable Agriculture, Permaculture Design, and Southwestern Gardening and Agriculture, the Associated Students for Women’s Issues, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy Gardening Class, and the Upward Bound/Nizhoni Academy Sustainability Class.
For more information, please contact Patrick Pfeifer at firstname.lastname@example.org.