Thank you to Jimbo's...Naturally! for sponsoring our teacher training academies
and to the Eleanor and Jerry Navarra family and Jerome's Furniture for providing
funding for the beautiful new 
refrigerators  in our teaching kitchen!


Future scientists hunt for worms and other invertebrates in a sample of vermicompost
Unwind at the End
of the Day!

Join us on Thursday evenings for stretching and relaxation in our tranquil garden setting. Our beginner-friendly yoga class will include traditional yoga poses and simple meditation techniques.

Classes are presented by volunteers, thanks to a partnership with the Deep Yoga School of Healing Arts Teacher Training at Ginseng Yoga. 

$5 suggested donation. Please bring your own yoga mat or beach towel and dress appropriately for outdoor yoga.


The amazing Cooking for Salud! volunteer team poses with Chef Marguerite (Left to right: Julie, Chef Marguerite, Patty, Ileana,
and Brittney)
Spring into March with Specialty Produce
Olivewood Gardens offers  Farmers' Market Boxes from Specialty Produce!  The box ($20) includes a weekly selection of fresh California-grown fruits and vegetables.
Specialty Produce donates $2 of every purchase to the Olivewood Gardens program fund. To learn more or enroll,  contact Ally Welborn.
Specialty Produce 
Farmers' Market Box contents

Elementary Education Intern Corita debuts her new Very Hungry Caterpillar curriculum
Looking for more National City News?

The City of National City has launched an E-Newsletter! The National City News includes  information on community interests, events, and activities as well as updates and reports on major projects.

A Madison Elementary 3rd grader practices  identfying plant parts
Free Plants for Teachers!

Just in time for spring planting, Altman Plants
has generously donated hundreds of vegetable and herb seedlings for school gardens. In additio n, the
is giving out narrowleaf milkweed through its Milkweed for Monarchs Program. 

The plant giveaway will take place on March 12 from 3-5pm at Olivewood. Reservations for pick-up must be made in advance.

Cooking for Salud! students measure out the amount of sugar in one serving of a soft drink
Where are they Now?
Kitchenistas Edition

Congratulations to Kitchenistas Patty Corona-Morales, Victoria Nieblas, and Rosa Hernandez on their new jobs at the KOA restaurant! Patty, Vicki, and Rosa will be putting their Cooking for Salud! skills to work prepping food at the Chula Vista KOA. In addition, Patty, Kitchenista Volunteer Coordinator, is the new Parent Coordinator at Sweetwater Union High School, where, among other duites, she teaches cooking and nutrition classes for parents.

A happy farmer shows off his harvest
Executive Director

Healy Vigderson 


Program Director

Diana Bergman


Head Gardener

Martha Prusinskas


Chef Educator

Kati Christensen


Manager of Volunteers and Outreach

Ally Welborn


Development Assistant

Claire Groebner


Garden Team:

Charles Anacker

Ananda Gunasekara
Adan Teposte


(619) 434-4281
2525 N Avenue
National City, CA 91950

Board of Directors
  • ChairMary L. Walshok, Ph.D
  • Vice ChairDennis Doyle, Ph.D.
  • TreasurerRichard L. Romney
  • SecretaryJacqueline Reynoso
  • Cathe Burnham
  • Irma Gigli, M.D.
  • Anne McEnany
  • Eleanor Navarra
  • Trish Watlington

Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View our photos on flickr



Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center  was created by the
to further it's vision of assuring healthy communities and healthy economies in the 
cross-border region.
CCCultivating Conversation: 
A Dine and Learn Series
Saturday, March 21st, 4pm-7pm

Visit Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center for an intimate outdoor dinner, guided tour, and 

thought-provoking discussion in our beautiful garden setting. Engage with local experts and enjoy authentic farm-to-table cuisine from a celebrated San Diego restaurant.


Featured Speaker:
Dr. Gordon Saxe M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. (UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine) is a national leader in the field of Integrative Medicine and an expert in the medical applications of plant-based diets and body-mind stress reduction techniques. Dr. Saxe will discuss the inherent connection between diet and disease treatment and prevention.

Featured Restaurant:
Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop is an East Village staple that recaptures the simple and pure tastes found in locally grown, natural and organic ingredients. Executive Chef Victor Jimenez and Chef de Cuisine Christopher Osborne's menu will include garden-inspired dishes that showcase healthy whole grains, produce, and proteins.


Cost: $75 - Proceeds benefit garden-based nutrition education programs at Olivewood

Location: Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center

2525 N Ave, National City, CA 91950
More info: (619) 434-4281;

Space is limited


Click Here to Purchase Tickets

What We're Up To
February and March

Our hot and cold February hasn't kept spring from starting early here in the garden! We've been harvesting winter veggies like cauliflower, summer fruits like strawberries, and everything in between.

It was an exciting time for children to come see everything in action, so we hosted 14 field trips from 10 schools! Children made Cauliflower-Potato Mash and Avocado Banana Smoothies and Guest Chefs Quin Wilson ( Balanced & Bright) and Hanis Cavin ( Carnitas' Snack Shack) showed 5th graders how to make Carrot Orange Soup. Students also planted seedlings, studied seasonality, learned about the butterfly life cycle, and more!

We were thrilled by the success of our first-ever Valentines' Day Couples Cooking Class. Demand was so high that we added an extra session! Couples harvested their own flower arrangements, cooked with  Chef Christina Ng and enjoyed a private picnic together in the garden.

Additionally in February, we started our new session of Cooking for Salud!, our 7-week English-Spanish adult cooking class. Guest instructors so far have included Elizabeth Metzler from the San Diego Food Bank, Patricia Perez of the San Ysidro Health Center, Chef Joe Pastry of Waters Fine Foods and Catering, and Chef Marguerite Grifka of California's Table.

Also in February:
Chef Hanis Cavin poses with happy 5th graders from Olivewood Elementary

  • 3rd graders from National School District will come back to Olivewood! Students to study the three sisters companion planting technique - a Native American tradition that combines corn, beans, and squash together in the same garden bed! Students will perform folktale reader's theater, plant the three sisters together, and cook a tasty Three Sisters Posole.
  • Cooking for Salud! will conclude with a large graduation celebration for the Kitchenistas.
  • Additional events will include field trips for Head Start preschoolers, the Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden Teacher Training sponsored by Jimbo's...Naturally!, our first Cultivating Conversation dinner, and an Open House.
CSYSGTeacher Training: 
Creating and Sustaining Your
School Garden
Saturday, March 14th, 8:30am-4:00pm
Sponsored by Jimbo's...Naturally!

This all-day workshop for will help educator teams to create or enhance their  school  garden programs. Meet with other teachers, parents, and administrators for guided discussions, presentations, and hands-on examples. Topics include: planning  and designing a  school  garden, basic gardening skills, curricular connections,  and outdoor classroom management.
Date: Saturday, March 14
Time: 8:30am - 4:00pm
Cost: $40 registration fee (tuition sponsored by Jimbo's)
Contact: Diana Bergman 

girlscoutsSpring Break Girl Scouts
3/31 and 4/1, 9:15am-11:15am

Tuesday, March 31: Brownie's Bugs and Bites
Explore the essential role of insects in the garden as decomposers and pollinators, create a bug-themed craft, and then make a healthy snack in our kitchen.

To register, click here.

Wednesday, April 1: Junior's Flower Power
Create a floral crown, dress up a healthy snack using edible flowers, & observe the diversity of beautiful & functional flowers around our garden.

Click here to register through the Girl Scouts of San Diego website.

Open House
Saturday, March 28th, 10am-1pm

Learn about our historic roots, current gardening practices, and plans to impact the future of National City. Tours include two large garden areas and a peek inside the Noyes house.


Guided Tours: 10:15am and 12:15pm
Location: Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center
2525 N Ave, National City, CA 91950
Suggested Donation: $5
Contact: 619-434-4281
VACVolunteer Appreciation Celebration
BEE the Change You Want to See 
in the World
Saturday, April 11th, 3pm-5pm

Thank you for BEEing the change at Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center!


We would like to invite you and a guest to join us for our 

2015 Volunteer Appreciation Celebration on Saturday, April 11th at 3pm. The afternoon will include food, wine, prizes, and awards. All 2014 and 2015 volunteers are invited!


Date: Saturday, April 11

Time: 3pm-5pm

Location: Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center

2525 N Ave, National City, CA 91950

RSVP by 4/1: 

or call 619-434-4281

Chef Hanis helps an excited 5th grader to puree Carrot and Orange soup

Featured Recipe:
Carrot and Orange Soup 

Chef Hanis Cavin of Carnitas' Snack Shack

(Serves 4-6)


Ingredients and Directions for Soup

5 large carrots

1 yellow onion

3 ribs celery

1 fennel bulb

2 qt. vegetable stock

1 tbsp olive oil

6 oranges - zested and juiced (save zest for garnish)

Salt and pepper


1. Peel carrots and onion. Chop carrots, onion, celery, and fennel into 1" pieces (save scraps to make vegetable stock if desired).

2. In large pot, saut� carrots, onion, celery, and fennel over medium-high heat with olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt.

3. Once veggies are soft, add vegetable stock and orange juice. Simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Puree all ingredients in food processor or blender. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Ingredients and Directions for Garnish

1 lb sugar snap peas - shelled

1 pomegranate - seeded

1 meyer lemon - zested

1 orange - zested (use oranges from soup)

� cp spinach -- chiffonade (thinly sliced)


Mix all ingredients together. Place a large spoonful of garnish into each soup bowl.