Students have an opportunity to learn about the latest trends and research in sustainable urban farming thanks to a new aquaponics lab at Fullerton College. The lab came online in the spring of 2016 offering horticulture students a hands-on learning space parallel to professional farms and university research institutions.
With the creation of this new lab, Fullerton College became the first community college in Southern California to offer courses and hands-on training in aquaponics and hydroponics, and is on the forefront of emerging trends in agriculture, according to horticulture Professor Valerie Loew.
“Horticulture has evolved due to climate and resource
changes, and we are responding by adapting our program to become one that makes our students ready for the challenges ahead,” explained Loew.
UrbanAgNews.com, by Jim Pantaleo, October 27, 2016
Seedstock.com, by Trish Popovitch, October 8, 2016
“I’m looking for (my students) to be the mechanics with common sense that can run these complicated systems with really predictable outcomes. It’s a two year program. I want them to be as hands on as possible. …That’s what I want them to learn about: common sense stuff,” says Loew. “This isn’t just theory this is the reality of working in an indoor vertical greenhouse. Not all my students are going to go on to a four year program. I want them to be job ready.”
Orange County Register, by Hannah Madans, August 26, 2016
“I see a lot more people interested in urban farms and vertical farms because it puts food in the center with people,” said Valerie Loew, a Fullerton College horticulture faculty member. “We have local production, which can create new jobs. It’s a complete win.
“The movement is huge, because the amount of arable land available is slim,” she added.
Fruit News and Views (pdf)
California Rare Fruit Growers Newsletter, June 2016
Fullerton College Horticulture Professor Valerie Loew will discuss new courses, introduce recent CRFG scholarship recipients and give a talk on mimicking traditional, ornamental landscapes using perennial vegetables, making an average suburban homestead an edible oasis.
Fullerton College THE HORNET Newspaper
April 4, 2016
It all started when Valerie (Loew) won an innovation grant for $25,000 from the North Orange County Community College District.
“My whole idea was to create a forum that teaches students the future of agriculture and horticulture. Aquaponics does just that. It’s a vehicle to teach students about science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as the students will be learning botany, plant physiology, biology, and chemistry,” Loew said.
Fullerton College Garden
Aired: 06/05/2013 2:24
Doug Kriegel and Fullerton College instructor Valerie Loew give us a lesson in the growing trend of edible gardens.