Welcome to the Organic Farm at Cal Poly

The Cal Poly Organic Farm is a 9 acre organic farm housed in the Horticulture and Crop Science Department, certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers. The farm provides an environment where students can experience the ins and outs of organic farming. While also serving as a pillar of the San Luis Obispo community.

You can find hard-working Cal Poly students selling the produce they grew at the local downtown farmers market as well as the campus farmers market; donating all unsold goods to the Food Bank. The farm also provides students with a learning environment outside the classroom. With multiple classses utilizing the farm as a place to learn and conduct research.


A Day on the farm

I accompanied a few of the Organic Farm's student employees during one of their weekly shifts to see the ins and outs of an average day on the farm.

SAN LUIS OBISPO || OCTOBER 21st, 2019 || You may have never heard of it, but Cal Poly is home to a nine acre organic farm. It can be located in the Horticulture and Crop Science Department, and is certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers. (CCOF) Cal Poly sophomore Environmental Management and Protection major Hope Springer (left) testing out some of the day’s harvest. While Cal Poly fifth year Nutrition major William Gallo (right) inspects his before eating. William (right) and Hope (left) use tools and their bare hands to pull weeds from the farm’s chard supply. “It’s a nice change up from being in a lab or in the classroom, actually being out, getting dirty, hands on.” Gallo said. One of the farm’s chard sprouts, after harvesting these veggies they will be available to the public at the local farmer’s market. The unsung hero, Hope’s phone and speaker serenading herself (left) and fellow novice farmer, Cal Poly junior Anthropology and Geology major Abigail Craig. (right) “It’s really fun and special to be able to stick your hands in the dirt and make produce come home with you.” Craig said about why she likes working on the farm. Hope makes a quick trip to the farm refrigerator to take inventory of the current crops. Crops are brought here the same day of harvesting in order to maintain their freshness. Only organic produce is permitted inside this area. This prevents commingling; the result of organic produce coming into contact with non-organic produce. Hope inspects the days produce. Cal Poly fourth year Agriculture and Environmental Plant Science major Gary Gray (right), carries the day’s squash and pumpkin harvest back to their golf cart, while Hope (left) was given the task of choosing the best of the bunch. After the cart was loaded up Hope picked out the winning squash, “It has the best shape and feels the best, sorry guys.” Hope said. Apologizing to Abigail and William who had both picked different squash finalists.

The Farmers

knowing matters

Click on the images to hear from the staff about why knowing where your food comes from is important.
(Double-click to pause audio)

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A look inside

Annie O'neill was kind enough to sit down and talk about the farm. Who they are, what they do, and how to get involved.

Organic California

Organic California

California is home to the most organic farmland than any other state, while also producing the majority of the country's organic vegetables. Despite organic farming seeing a steady growth in the west organic farmland still only occupies 1% of all farmland in the United States
Sources: USDA, CCOF, Pew Research Center



nationally recognized

The Cal Poly Organic Farm has recieved national recognition for their work in agriculture and organic practices, ranking 6th out of 60 colleges by Online College Plan. The Organic Farm has also been ranked as the 7th best organic farm in the country by Best Value Colleges. Click on the logos to see the official rankings.

Best Value Schools college farms