Why Choose Cabrillo?
Our experienced faculty specializes in many things horticultural, but we focus on growing plants and sustainable landscaping.
Good careers opportunities in Horticulture include, but aren’t limited to:
- Greenhouse Crop Production
- Farm Advisor
- Organic Farm Inspector
- Hydroponic Food Production
- Landscape Designer
- Seeded Vegetable Transplant Production
- Pest Control Advisor
- Marketing and Sales
In Santa Cruz County, first line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers can expect a median salary of $53,200 per year, or $25.57 per hour. The 10 year growth rate in the number of jobs is over 11%.
We have one of the regional experts on staff teaching propagation. Most of our propagation occurs in our large production greenhouse with bottom heat, fog and a solar accumulator for fog timing. There are lots of career opportunities in nurseries, greenhouses, or producing seeded vegetable transplants for large farms.
Organic Food Production
We have a fully operational CCOF certified organic farm. It may be small but packs a big punch. We use the farm to teach farm management as well as pest management and marketing. We focus on commercial applications of Best Management Practices and grow the important crops in our area. Our instructors have over 50 years of combined farm experience including research and consulting. We offer enterprise opportunities as well. Careers include growing crops, marketing crops, sales positions in materials used on the farm, packing and logistical support as well as farm advisors, organic inspectors and USDA jobs.
You will learn to identify pests, diseases and weeds, know their life cycles and common methods of control, including biological or chemicals (both organic and inorganic). Our pest management classes can lead to careers in IPM, Applicator license, or even a PCA.
Controlled Environment Agriculture (hydroponics and aquaponics)
This expanding field brings together the greenhouse crop production careers with food production. We have 3600 square feet of greenhouse space dedicated to growing food crops in controlled environments. Aquaponics is well represented with a University of Virgin Islands system. Our tomato crop runs from June 30- June 1 and yields over 175 pounds per week of vine ripe tomatoes. There are lots of empty greenhouses in our area and the trend is to fill them with edible crops, so a career in growing food indoors is a great possibility. There are over 1 million acres of food being grown under cover in the world, so you can go anywhere in the world and grow crops.
Sustainable Landscape Design and Installation
Concerned about proper plant selection and hardscaping materials for landscaping in a dry climate? We offer a series of classes that focus on sustainable materials, construction, and irrigation management as well as designing beautiful landscapes. Students have the opportunity to design several landscapes for real clients. Classes may lead to a career as designers, installations, water auditing, landscape maintenance, or edible landscaping.
Container Crop Production or Floriculture
We have over 6000 square feet of nursery production facilities that grow crops from Salvias and California natives to beautiful sun or shade perennials, bedding, and cut flower crops, as well as beautiful flowering baskets and edible perennials and transplants for our Mothers Day Sale. Our classes oversee the production of many of our crops and students can have an opportunity to manage a crop if they apply themselves. Course work can lead to grower jobs, propagation, marketing, sales, quality control, or research.
- Ken Foster
- Nicky Hughes
- Sarah Hulick
- Michael Johnson
- Peter Quintanilla
- Peter Shaw
- Sean Swezey
- Shanti Wertz
Nursery and Garden Curator
- Heather Blume
- Steve Evers
- Rachel Golden
- Laura Virgallito