Thank you for making our first Cultivating Conversation a Success!


A father and son from a Head Start preschool explore the garden together
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.


Monica (right) and Lydia (left) smile during the Cultivating Conversation dinner
CommserveGive Back
April 25th is National City Community Service Day! 
National City is teaming up with local communities and organizations to create projects that will enhance our neighborhood. Help volunteer to paint, landscape, build, or even with general maintenance and clean up. Lunch will be provided!

Projects will include a replanting of the planters at Butterfly Park.
Date: Saturday, April 25th 2015
Time: 8:00am-4:00pm
To work specifically on the Butterfly Park project, please email 

A group of Brownies shows off their painted rock paperweights
Upcoming Special Events
Looking for a weekend opportunity or a chance to get your group involved at Olivewood? Come join us for two fun special events!

Seedling Soiree:
Support fun and fundraising at our annual un-gala! Assist with event set-up, registration, serving food, event support, clean-up, and more.
Volunteer: Saturday, May 30th
Saturday, May 23

Day of Play:
Help us put on a free event for the whole community! Assist with event set-up, registration, children's activities, clean-up, and more.
Volunteer: Saturday, June 27th
Orientation: Saturday, June 20th

  Day-of timing depends on your specific role and responsibilities. Sponsorships available for groups.

Sign up or learn more:,

A pair of young gardeners waters their broccoli seedlings 
Get in on Southern California's Spring Harvest! 
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

Cultivating Conversation's 'Olivewood Salad' by the Cowboy Star culinary team
communityIn the Community: 
How to Create a Pollinator Garden

This free, after school workshop is for garden educators who want to learn more about creating and maintaining pollinator gardens. Participants will learn about plant selections from Master Gardener Marcia Van Loy and get their hands dirty by planting a pollinator garden with Butterfly Farms.

Date:  Wednesday, April 15
Time:  3:30-5:30
Location: Palomar Elementary, Chula Vista
Register: 619-562-0096 or

Students from Warren Walker Elementary gather edible flowers
Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center
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

Students from Lincoln Acres Elementary enjoy their Three Sisters Posole

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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.
  Soiree2015 Seedling Soir?e
Saturday, May 30th


Join us for a special evening of friends, beauty, nature, food, and spirits benefiting Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center.


Twilight Cocktails and Appetizers:
5:30p-7:30p,  $50

Cocktails, Appetizers, and Culinary Feast: 
7:00p-9:00p, $200 


The 2015 Seedling Soir?e will feature some of San Diego's hottest caterers and restaurants collaborating to create unique dishes that showcase San Diego County's organic and sustainably produced meats, seafood, produce, and confections.


This year's featured culinary crafters are:

Cocktails by:


Twilight Cocktails & Appetizers - $50

5:30-7:30 - Enjoy a variety of delicious garden-inspired craft cocktails and appetizers celebrating the spring harvest.

Twilight Cocktails & Culinary Feast - $200
5:30-9:00 - San Diego's top local chefs collaborate to serve a garden-inspired, family-style dinner (includes Cocktail & Appetizer hour)


 Click Here to Purchase Tickets 


Proceeds for the event benefit the garden and nutrition programs offered by Olivewood to children and adults throughout San Diego County.


Sponsorships are available, please call 619-434-4260.


Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center 

2525 N Ave, National City, CA 91950


2014 Seedling Soiree photos by Galdino Sanchez and @DiningOutSD

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 free 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!


Food provided by Chef Marguerite Grifka of California's Table 


Date: Saturday, April 11

Time: 3pm-5pm

Location: Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center

2525 N Ave, National City, CA 91950

RSVP: or call 619-434-4281

March and April

In March, we hosted 21 field trips! Participants included preschoolers, elementary school students, adults, and girl scouts. Guests got to plant and harvest in our blossoming spring garden, cook winter and spring recipes, and see natural science first-hand.

On March 21st, we hosted our very first Cultivating Conversation dinner! This unique outdoor event featured a creative, garden-inspired menu from the team at Cowboy Star Restaurant and Butcher Shop and a presentation about the relationship between diet and disease prevent from guest speaker Dr. Gordon Saxe ( UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine).
We're also very proud of the Kitchenistas who graduated from Cooking for Salud! on March 19th! These 13 inspiring women have made a powerful commitment to change the way they cook for themselves and their families and to become involved in local health education efforts. Guest instructors for the March classes included Chef Matt Gordon of Urban Solace, Solace & the Moonlight Lounge, and Sea & Smoke and Chef Mariana Gallardo of Comun Kitchen & Tavern.

Also in March:
  • We hosted a Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden teacher training, State Senetor Ben Hueso's Woman of the Year luncheon, an Open House, and a plant giveaway for school gardens
  • We set-up a booth at Parkview Elementary school, where we taught students and teachers about composting
  • Outdoor yoga classes started again on Thursdays at 5!
Congratulations to the 5th generation of Kitchenistas!

  • 5th graders from National School District will complete their Olivewood field trip rotations! Students will cook a delicious Veggie Pesto Pizza, practice warm season companion planting, and learn about the food web -- how energy flows through natural systems.
  • Additional events will include an adult gardening class, the 2015 Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, an Open House, offsite Earth Day community fairs, a High School Community Service Day, Family Dinner Night, the National City Community Service Day, and a High School cooking workshop (designed and implemented by our amazing high school interns)
CSYSGTeacher Training: 
Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education
Saturday, May 2nd, 8:30am-4:00pm
Sponsored by Jimbo's...Naturally!

How do you get kids to eat fruit and veggies?
Need ideas for recipes, age appropriate cooking activities, or food related books? 
You can use your school garden or classroom gardening projects to enhance nutrition education for children and youth and promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Come to our GENE class to learn how. Activities are drawn from curricula for grades K-7, and are all available for free.
Participants will learn tools and strategies for involving children and youth in safe food handling and preparation in a garden, kitchen, or classroom. We will also explore how to plan for an edible harvest and touch on Garden to Cafeteria programs.  

Open to all school personnel, parents, and community group leaders.


Date: Saturday, March 14
Time: 8:30am - 4:00pm
Cost: $40 registration fee (tuition sponsored by Jimbo's)
Contact: Diana Bergman 


Spring Into Gardening:
Preparing Beds for Spring Planting
Saturday, April 18th, 9am-12pm

Learn hands-on gardening strategies from our team of experts! Topics: 

1. Permaculture, Chop and Drop: How and why to mulch garden beds, with no tilling into soil! (method recommended by the Natural Resource Conservation Service of the USDA)

2. Biodynamic Method, Digging in Your Cover Crop. Turn cover crop into nutritious soil and learn how Biodynamic Compost and Field Sprays can aid in the decomposition of cover crop material.

3. Build from the Ground Up: No-dig gardening using the Esther Deans, Charles Dowdy, and Toby Hemingway "Bombproof" method!

Suggested donation of $20.00 includes free sample bag of Locally made Biodynamic Compost (with $20.00 donation only).


Date: Saturday, April 18th

Time: 9am-12pm

Location: Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center
2525 N Ave, National City, CA 91950
Suggested Donation: $20
Contact: 619-434-4281 or

Open House
Saturday, April 18th, 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
Saturday, April 18th, 10am-1pm

Join us for an evening of gardening, cooking and fun for the whole family! 

Take a tour of the property, h arvest vegetables from the garden, w ork together to prepare a healthy, seasonal meal,  and eat together and share conversation as a family in the historic Noyes House.
Date:  Thursday, April 30th 
Time: 3pm-6:30pm
Cost:  $25/person
RSVP: (619) 434-4281 (space is limited)
Location: Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center
2525 N Ave, National City, CA 91950
Ages 5 & up

FOOD and FARM Family Fun Day
Saturday, May 9th, 10am-12pm

Join us for a family field trip!

Take a family outing to beautiful Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center to explore the connections between food, health, and a healthy planet. Participate in hands-on cooking, gardening, and educational activities as a family.
Start the conversation- where does your food come from, and what makes a food healthy? See the whole "farm to table" process unfold before you. 


Space limited to 30 participants. Register now!


Who: Families with children ages 3+
When: Saturday, 5/9; 10am-12pm
Where: Olivewood Gardens & Learning Center
2525 N Avenue, National City, CA 91950
Registration Fee: $15/person
Featured Recipe:
Chicken, Beans and Pasta

(Serves 4-6)


8 ounces chicken (or pork), sliced into strips
1 pound pasta, cooked
1 zucchini or 1 squash, sliced into strips
2 cups red kidney beans
1 teaspoon chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
? cup shredded parmesan
6 large leaves of basil, torn
? cup olive oil 

salt and pepper, to taste  


1. In a large saut? pan, add a little olive oil to pan and heat. Add chicken and saut? until slightly browned on the outside. Add garlic and chili flakes and stir.
2. Next, add cherry tomatoes and stir. Then, add the zucchini or summer squash and shredded parmesan. Allow veggies to cook for a few minutes without stirring.
3. Add cooked pasta and beans to pan and stir until pasta and beans are warm. Serve and enjoy!