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California State University, Sacramento

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Bioconversion & Agricultural Collaborative

The Bioconversion and Agricultural Collaborative exists to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions at Sacramento State through composting and sustainable agriculture methods.  The BAC Yard is a partnership between students, faculty and staff using the campus as a living laboratory. 

BAC Yard Brochure

 

Composting

At the BAC Yard we compost a significant portion of the campus greens and food waste. Composting at the BAC Yard happens via Vermicomposting, Hot Composting or Windrow Composting. Vermicomposting is an in-vessel composting system which uses worms to break down food waste. The worms break down the waste and supply us with nutrient rich worm castings. Hot Composting mixes food waste from on-campus eateries and coffeehouses with leaves. The mixture is placed in small piles and turned regularly. Windrow Composting is the process of collecting campus leaves and other green waste in a long narrow row. The row is water and covered with a large tarp, then turned regularly with a tractor.

 

Aquaponics

The BAC Yard has a small solar powered aquaponics unit, as well as a larger production system that produces fresh produce and herbs. Aquaponics is the marriage of aquaculture and hydroponics into a closed-loop biological system. Three biological components thus make up the loop; fish, bacteria, and plants. Bacteria utilizes ammonia produced by the fish and rearranges the nitrogen molecules into usable fertilizer for plants. This urban growing practice uses 90% less water than conventional farming methods and has increased production rates due to the lack of competition for nutrients associated with soil-based agriculture. It also dramatically reduces the amount of weeds that grow in the system.

Beehives & Hornet Honey

The BAC Yard is home to three beehives, with three more at the adjacent Capital Public Radio Garden.  In addition to the critical role pollinators’ play in our environment and for our food supply, we enjoy learning about and teaching the importance of honey bees and pollinators to our Hornet Family, the community, and the countless K-12 school tours that visit the BAC Yard each year.  Of course the honey production is fun too.  Between the two apiary locations, our bees produce more than 200 pounds of honey annually.  For more information about Hornet Honey and how to purchase a jar please email sustainability@csus.edu 

Organic Gardens

Student leaders of Associated Students Inc. had a vision of creating food-producing organic gardens on campus to donate to the ASI Food Pantry in an effort to solve food scarcity concerns for our students.  With funding from a grant, ASI students purchased and built a variety of raised planter beds at the BAC Yard to grow food.  The planting and harvest schedule is synchronized with the ASI Pop Up Pantry schedule to ensure freshness and all food is donated for Sac State students to enjoy. For more information on the campus Pop Up Pantry go to  http://www.asi.csus.edu/programs/food-pantry/.

Anchor University

Sac State Sustainability strengthens our commitment as an anchor university by providing free compost to disadvantaged communities and local farms throughout the Sacramento region.  Our donations help urban gardens produce healthy food and create resilient communities.  Additionally, sustainability staff provide education and outreach through campus tours and in-class demonstrations at local schools.

Additional Details

 

Earn Academic Credit

Would you like to work at the BAC Yard and earn Academic credit? Many departments at Sac State offer internship courses that the BAC Yard will count towards. Check with your department Chair to see if your program offers this. Past academic internships have been completed through ENVS 195 and FACS 195. NUFD 110 also offers lab hours at the BAC Yard for those pursuing degrees in Family & Consumer Sciences.

BAC Yard Tours