Urban Garden Seminar: Winter 2013

Urban Garden Seminar: Regenerative Community

Winter Quarter 2013


The Urban Garden Seminar: Regenerative Community is a 2-unit course offered this winter quarter! This class is an introduction to environmental justice using an intersectional, feminist, and experiential framework.  These sessions will focus on analyzing the influences, powers, and implications of our environment using both theory and practice. Together we will explore new ideas and methods that promote healthier inter-generational community engagement while discussing the social complexities in our environment. Class activities will include guest speakers, readings, discussion, fieldwork, and experiential learning at the university and the local community.


Farah Godrej, Political Science Ph.D, farah.godrej@ucr.edu
Scott Fedick, Anthropology Ph.D, scott.fedick@ucr.edu

Staff Mentors:

Fortino Morales, Community Garden Coordinator, fortino.morales@ucr.edu

Rebecca Spence, Undergraduate Research in the Community Coordinator, rebecca.spence@ucr.edu

Meeting Time:

Wednesday: 12.10-3.00pm

  • HUB 265 (Discussion – Meet here first for every class period)
  • UCR Community Garden (Experiential Lab – We walk together to the garden)

UGS 2013 Contact Information

Email: ucrurbangardenseminar@gmail.com


 Credit:  190 Anthropology/190 Public Policy/198-Internship (choice of Grade or S/NC)

Paperwork will be handed out during the first day of class to obtain required signatures. You do not need to sign up for credit to be in the course although we encourage you to do so if it qualifies or may qualify for any UCR course satisfactions! Students in the past have received specific types of credit for their own major by speaking to their faculty and staff advisors about the seminar, others are doing research as part of this course, and some are incorporating this as part of their senior thesis! The goal of having different options is to allow anyone (able and willing) to take the course.

 The four options provided by us are 190 ANTH (grade), 190 Public Policy (Satisfactory or No Credit), 198/298-Internship, and the UCR Community Garden Internship. All are still for 2-units of credit, and need at least 70% of credit to get a C or satisfactory credit. Information about the 198/298 will be provided on first day of class (more information provided on Welcome Email).


  • A: 90 to 99%
  • B: 80 to 89%
  • C: 70 to 79%
  • D:  less than 70%
  • Satisfactory: must do at least 70% of work

 Grading in Detail:

  • Blog reflections – 10% (1% point per entry)
  • Attendance – 20% (2% points per session)
  • Participation – 20% (2% points per session)
  • Final Project – 20% (TBA in more detail)
  • Reflection of Community Involvement – 10% (approximately 10 hours)

 Attendance and Participation

Active participation and regular attendance is important for our group’s success during discussion, during our time in the UCR Community Garden, and for our final projects. We will take attendance during class time.


If you believe you will need some accommodation in order to enhance your individual ability to engage in this class, please contact Farah Godrej (farah.godrej@ucr.edu) directly to make sure these needs are appropriately met. The Student Mobility Services Center is located at 125 Costo Hall, and phone number is 951.827.4538.

Class Materials

All readings, articles, films, and class materials will be posted online through blog and iLearn page. Please look over material for that week before class in order to have engaging discussion sessions. Make sure to come prepared with comfy clothes, shoes, and water bottle for the garden!  All gardening tools will be available on site.

Community Engagement

In the UGS 2013, community is a process of increasing awareness about the complexities that shape our lives and gaining a better understanding about differences in power within society.  The goal is to recognize the complexities of power and oppression in order to work towards our developing community. We recognize that differences in race, class, gender, sexuality, and other social categories influence the classroom dynamics and although this introductory course cannot cover topics in much depth, we hope this opens up opportunities to engage deeper in the topics discussed.

 10% of your grade will be a reflection of the time spent in your other spaces that you consider yourself a part of. The purpose of this is to see the “big picture,” as this is part of the reason we are encouraged and motivated to continue doing this work.

  • What regenerative work is happening on our campus, in Riverside, in California?
  • How has the seminar changed your perception of leadership, community service, and service learning outside of this university?
  • How do topics in class connect to your experience in your own community?How do organizations, collectives, and community groups you are a part of address these complexities? How could they potentially do this if they do not already?

 We recommend spending about 1 hour per week (10 hours total) in being part of a group/project in order to create your reflection. There are many ways to show your reflection (writing, art, video, etc.). This part of your grade is meant to connect the work you are doing outside of the seminar with themes and topics within the seminar. You will choose one location to reflect on, a detailed description will be handed out during class time.

Possible Spaces to reflect on:

  • Non-profit organization
  • The UCR Community Garden
  • Attendance to Conference (example Real Food Challenge Conference)
  • Other possibilities? Come speak to us!

Experiential Learning

Every Wednesday after discussion, we will work on the UCR Community Garden. Using a hands-on approach we will learn how to create a local, wholesome, and sustainable food system that promotes healthy bodies, relationships, and communities. Using regenerative design methods, we will get the opportunity to design and begin implementing those elements as part of the class. Our work will create the framework for people (and hopefully some of us) continuing this project in the future!



SCHEDULE (any changes will be posted online and announced in class and email)

Day Discussion Topic Connecting to the Garden
W1:Jan 9 Introduction:Regenerative Community Introduction:Permaculture Ethics
W2:Jan 16 The Education System System Analysis
W3:Jan 23 Indigenous Peoples and the Environment Principles of Natural Systems
W4:Jan 30 The State & Institutions:Food Politics Re-envisioning Design: Methods, Aesthetics, and Accessibility
W5:Feb 6 Gender Justice and Feminisms Designing Landscapes
W6:Feb 13 ConFronteras: Immigration, Labor, and Globalization Social Environments
W7:Feb 20 Succession Processes: Field Trip (Tentative) —————–
W8:Fed 27 Team Work: Developing Resource Tools Designing Built Environment
W9:March 06 Team Work:  Developing Resource Tools Implementing Regenerative Designs
W10:March 13 Potluck and Final Project Presentations ——————

 Blog Reflections

This is an opportunity to take a critical view of our environment, the concept of sustainability and community regeneration. What is regeneration? We will use ideas that we learn through readings and discussions to explore the intersections between the way we live and are socialized into living. How are we touched by these forces in our every day lives, and what experiences, ideas, and questions do we want to bring into discussion? At the end of each week, we will post our reflections on the Cultivate R’Space blog to further our collective thought on the topics.

What are we working towards during this seminar time?

UCR Community Garden Development 

The three goals for going to the community garden are:

(1) Raising awareness about the UCR Community Garden and the importance of local food system

(2) Learning introduction to regenerative design methods and vocabulary

(3) Hands on experience growing your own food

(4) Developing an intersectional approach to ideas of social justice

During our seminar time, different garden activities may include:

  • Creating a fruit wall
  • Building key hole garden
  • Building a pizza cob oven
  • Developing an entrance way
  • And/or more! 

Final Project: Developing Resource Tools

We’ll discuss the final project in more detail during the quarter. This may be in the form of a resource handbook or other media development that will allow us to share recipes, stories, reflections, and resources with each other and others that may take this class in the future! We will present our final work to each other during the last day of classes with a potluck at the UCR Community Garden.


Cultivate R’Space Collective. “UGS 2012 Syllabus.” Print.





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