contactContact Us

Executive Director
Healy Vigderson

Gardens and Facilities Manager
Leonard Vargas

Nutrition Program Coordinator
Cherianne Barry

Coordinator of Volunteers and Outreach
Cristina Juarez
Development Coordinator
Claire Groebner
Garden Educator
Ananda Gunasekara

Schools Coordinator
Corrie Madueño

Garden Support Staff
Michael Ramirez
Reyna Rodriguez
Adan Teposte

Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center was created by the 
International Community Foundation  to further its mission of ensuring healthy communities and healthy economies in the cross-border region.
Follow the Seasons with Fresh Veggies!
Olivewood Gardens will be a new pick-up location for Dickinson Farms  Farm Share Bags !  The bag ($28) includes a weekly selection of locally grown, heirloom fruits and vegetables.  Dickinson Farms donates $4 for every purchase to the Olivewood Gardens program fund.  To learn more or enroll, go to their website or contact Cherianne Barry.
Board of Directors

Chair:  Sam Dychter, M.D.
Vice  Chair: Trish Watlington
Treasurer:  Jacqueline Reynoso
Secretary: C athe Burnham
James Clark
Dennis Doyle, Ph.D.
Anne McEnany
Susana Villegas
Evelyn Wiggins
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soireeSeedling Soirée
Saturday, May 20, 2017

Join us for a special evening of  friends, beauty, nature, food and spirits featuring some  of San Diego's finest chefs, vintners, brewers, and distillers.  Celebrate community  health with us in our beautiful spring garden.

Cocktails & Appetizers: 5PM - 7PM
Chef's Culinary Feast: 7PM - 9PM

updateHitting the Garden Running...
We are excited about all the new developments happening at the Gardens this year.  Thanks to your support, we are growing and connecting with families in a deeper way than ever before!  

Some of the great things to look out for in the coming year:

- We will welcome additional staff members to help us further our impact
- We will expand our Internship Program - welcoming more Sweetwater High students for the Sustainable Urban Ag Internship this semester, as well as interns from  High Tech High Chula Vista and local universities
- We are adding a third session of Cooking for SaludTM
- Our Kitchenistas provide nutrition presentations and healthy cooking demonstrations for local schools and community centers

The year has just begun and we look forward to sharing more exciting developments as the year continues!!

A special thanks to  for their recent grant supporting our Children's Program 
job2Job Openings: Nutrition Educator and Administrative Assistant
Olivewood is expanding our team!  We are seeking enthusiastic and positive team players who are passionate about building healthy families and a health environment. 

Nutrition Educator - part time
Garden Educator - part time
Administrative Assistant - part time

 If you or someone you know might be interested in any of these positions, please check out the complete job descriptions HERE.

uptoWhat We're Up To...February
  • We hosted over 25 family engagement coordinators from the SD County Office of Education's Friday Cafe.  We shared our programs, our Kitchenistas gave a healthy cooking demonstration and spoke about their experience in Cooking for Salud, and we gave a tour of the gardens and home.
  • We had eleven field trips for students from National City and throughout the County.
  • We began our ninth generation of Cooking for Salud, introducing 15 local parents to healthy eating behaviors and cooking.  A special shout out to Chef Joe Pastry of Waters Fine Food and Catering and Woobar and Chef Marguerite Grifka of Third Avenue Charitable Organization for sharing their time and expertise, and to all the Kitchenista alumni who supported and led the training.
  • Our Kitchenistas began working with a local SANDAG project to help interview residents about their transportation usage.
  • We hosted our third annual Valentine's Day Cooking Class, welcoming 20 couples to the gardens to participate in a hands-on cooking class and private picnic.  A special thank you to Chef Christina Ng of Chinita's Pies for donating  her time and energy to this program!
  • We presented to the County's AIS Health Promotion Committee about Olivewood, focusing specifically on Cooking for Salud and our in depth evaluation of this program to inspire other organizations to analyze their program impacts.
  • We participated as a vendor at the National City Chamber's Sustainability Fair.
  • Our Kitchenistas participated in public speaking training to help them feel more comfortable when doing presentations.  In addition, they led healthy cooking demonstrations and nutrition presentations for local schools.
  • Volunteers from Cowboy Star Restaurant helped out in the garden and we hosted a Boy Scout Eagle Award project to propagate dragon fruit.
  • We will host an Open House and Gardening 101: Food Safety from Seed to Kitchen class on February 25th.
Upcoming Events and Programs
Open House & Produce Stand
Visit our beautiful gardens, historic Victorian home, and learn about our programs!  Fresh produce will be available at our new Produce Stand. 
Sat, February 25th, 10AM - 1PM
Tues, March 28th, 10AM - 1PM
Tours start at 10:15AM and 12PM.
Gardening Workshop:
Food Safety from Seed to Kitchen
Learn best practices to diminish the possibility of food borne illnesses occurring, best practices for harvesting and post-harvest handling, disease and pest control safety, and compost and soil amendment safety.
Sat, February 25th, 9AM - 11AM.

Vegetative and Seed Propagation
Sat, March 18th, 9AM - 11AM

Register HERE
Salsa & Salsa Cooking Class
Join us for a hands-on cooking class and fun dance lesson with local Chef Diego Madueño and salsa instructor Marco Aguiar. Wow your friends with new, tasty recipes and suave salsa moves!
Sat, March 4th, 3PM - 6PM

Mommy and Me
This program is designed for children 2 - 5 with an accompanying adult.  Activities include story telling, a garden walk, and a tasting.
More Information
cultconvoCultivating Conversation: A Dine and Learn Series
Saturday, April 8th, 5PM - 8PM

Visit Olivewood Gardens for an intimate outdoor dinner, guided tour, and thought-provoking discussion in our beautiful garden setting.

Fea tured Speaker: Sam the Cooking Guy
Featured Restaurant: Tender Greens

School Garden Academy
Come learn how to create and sustain your school garden!  Topics will include best practices for outdoor group management and strategies for garden-based nutrition education.
Sat, March 11th, 8:30AM - 3:30PM

Spring Break Day Camp
Get the kids OUTSIDE and into FUN!  Send your kids for a fun and informative day at Olivewood.  They will participate in hands-on cooking, gardening, and physical activity.
Wed, March 28th, 9:30AM - 1:30PM
Looking for a fun way to help our community become healthier?  Why not volunteer with Olivewood Gardens?  We have a role for you! 
Find Out More Here
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communityIn the Community...
growingGrowing in the Garden...
With all this rain, there is a lot of growth happening in the garden.  We've got lots of winter veggies, as well as some summer vegetables starts in the greenhouse like tomatoes and basil.   Right now we're growing cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, cilantro, green onions, beets, celery, citrus, and other winter fruits and veggies.
recipe Featured Recipe
Roasted Broccoli Salad
Created by Chef  Joe Pastry
Serves 4-6

4 cups broccoli crowns
½ medium sized purple onion, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut length wise
segments from 2 oranges
½ cup crushed macadamia nuts, toasted
½ cup cojita cheese, crumbled
½ cup parsley leaves
olive oil
salt and pepper
1. Preheat to 350˚.
2. Toss broccoli in olive oil with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 350˚  for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Place all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with lemon vinaigrette just until coated. Enjoy!

Broccoli Fun Facts
Broccoli is a relative of cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables.  It is full of important nutrients including high levels of Vitamin K and Vitamin C, as well as B vitamins and even omega-3 fatty acids!  Broccoli is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and detoxifying properties.  Research demonstrates that it may play a role in cancer prevention.  Roast it, steam it, eat it raw - broccoli is good stuff!

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