flowers in the organic garden at Lambert

The Organic Gardens At Pacifica

The Lambert campus of Pacifica Graduate Institute is located in a historically and ecologically unique part of the world. The land has been occupied for thousands of years, each group of inhabitants having left their mark on the land. Chumash Native Americans were replaced by a series of immigrant land owners; then in the early 20th century, Max Fleischmann built his Edgewood Ranch on the site, the core of which now comprises some of Pacifica’s major buildings. At one time the Edgewood property included 1200 acres of fruit trees and other agriculture.

Our long range vision for the Lambert campus is to sustain a green belt around the heart of the campus. This green belt is comprised of seven acres of edible landscaping and four acres of gardens representing the various Mediterranean regions of the world. We believe that our work honors and nourishes the life systems that have flourished on this land, past and present, in both their ecological and spiritual dimensions. All parts of the landscaping stimulate the minds and hearts of visitors and occupants while honoring our history.

Beets growing in the organic farm

History of the Farm

Marshall Chrostowski was the founder of the Organic Market Gardens and the land manager for both campuses. He holds advanced degrees in soil science, plant and tropical ecology, and ethnobotany. He came to Pacifica in 1989 to renovate the long abandoned grounds and orchards. In 1990 Marshall called on Pacifica and the greater South Coast community to plant the first major grain, garlic and fava bean grow-out in the field now occupied by South Hall. By 1993, several acres had been set aside for a demonstration urban mini-farm, expanding over the next 5 years into a local food source for Pacifica’s community and the greater Santa Barbara area. Seed conservation continued to be featured, accompanied by special grow-outs and workshops on seed saving and organic gardening. During the latter part of the 1990’s, the farm hosted developmentally challenged individuals and their job coaches. Graduates of the program have moved on to productive working lives.

Members of our landscape maintenance crew assist in preparing farm beds, weeding, tending chickens, and processing organic material for the many tons of compost prepared each year.

We invite you to take a tour of the beautiful gardens. We welcome your participation in our farming tradition. To us, growing food is a life-enhancing, educational experience we want to share. Please see more information on the Pacifica web site about visiting and parking.

Marshall in the garden next to Amaranth