Facilities

SARA facilities include distributed office facilities and access to five research-and-demonstration sites located throughout the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

Research-and-demonstration sites include:

Edinburg Campus Research and Community Gardens—is a quarter-acre certified-organic garden complex located on the northeast side of the UTRGV Edinburg campus. The garden complex includes 7,500 square feet dedicated to certified-organic research under the UTRGV Agroecology Program, and 2,500 square feet dedicated to certified-organic fruit-and-vegetable production by the UTRGV campus community. Both gardens are fully equipped with drip-irrigation systems and each garden has its own toolshed, while the research garden is adjacent to UTRGV’s state-of-the-art greenhouse, equipped with a water wall, sprinklers, and fans. For more information about the research garden, contact Dr. Alex Racelis at alexis.racelis@utrgv.edu or for information about the community garden, contact Roberto Cantu at roberto.r.cantu@utrgv.edu

Brownsville Campus Watershed Garden—is a watershed-garden complex located at the UTRGV Brownsville campus designed for both community and research use. The garden replicates an agroecological watershed system by hydrologically connecting garden plots that include a garden bed, wetland, and pond; all designed to create food. For more information about the watershed garden, contact Dr. Chris Gabler at christopher.gabler@utrgv.edu

Terra Preta Organic Research and Demonstration Site—is a seven-acre certified-organic farm located four miles east of Edinburg that is used for research, demonstration, and commercial production. The working farm has water access through a local irrigation district and demonstrates in-ground water storage, drip irrigation, organic row-crop production, hoop-house production, and produce processing. This small farm demonstrates intense fruit-and-vegetable production and processing for direct marketing to local consumers. For more information about this site, contact juan.raygoza@utrgv.edu

County-Line Research and Demonstration Site—is a six-acre dryland farm located 30 miles northeast of Edinburg that is used for both research and demonstration purposes, focusing on perennial specialty crops, crop-livestock integration, silviculture, viticulture, and permaculture. Water for drip irrigation is sourced from a user-owned water supply corporation and from nearby perched aquifers. For more information about this site, contact george.bennack@utrgv.edu

Willacy County Research and Demonstration Site—is a one-acre intensely cultivated farm located in Willacy County, one mile South of Lyford, that is used for research, demonstration, and commercial production. The site focuses on research and demonstration of specialty crops, and demonstrates drip irrigation through a municipal water supply, and hoop-house production through USDA-NRCS assistance. For more information about this site, contact cruz.salinas@utrgv.edu