In This Issue

contactContact Us

Executive Director
Healy Vigderson

Program Director
Diana Bergman
Gardens and Facilities Manager
Leonard Vargas

Nutrition Program Coordinator
Cherianne Barry

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

Garden Support Staff
Michael Ramirez
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 offers
Farmer's Market Boxes from Specialty Produce!  The box ($20) includes a weekly selection of California-grown fruits and vegetables.  Specialty Produce donates $2 for every purchase to the Olivewood Gardens program fund.  To learn more or enroll, contact Cherianne Barry.
Board of Directors

Chair:  Mary L. Walshok, Ph.D.
Vice  Chair: Sam Dychter, M.D.
Treasurer:  Richard L. Romney
Secretary:  Jacqueline Reynoso
Cathe Burnham
James Clark
Dennis Doyle, Ph.D.
Irma Gigli, M.D.
Anne McEnany
Eleanor Navarra
Susana Villegas
Trish Watlington
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ThankYou Thank you Seedling Soirée  Supporters!
Wow, this year's Seedling Soirée  was amazing!  Thank you so much to all of our amazing chefs and volunteers, sponsors, donors, and supporters.  It was truly an evening celebrating health and community and we were delighted to share our spring garden with all of you.  This year, we raised nearly $92,000 for our garden-based nutrition education programs - more than we have ever raised at the Soirée before!

To view more photos for the event, click HERE.

hiringOlivewood is Now Hiring!
Schools Coordinator
For more information, go HERE.

UpTo What We're Up To...May and June
  • This has been an incredibly busy couple of months at the Gardens!  In May, we continued field trips for elementary school students from National City and throughout the County.  We had 17 classes visit the Garden from 11 different schools and a total of 422 students.
  • We screened "The Kitchenistas of National City" at The Lot in La Jolla for over 50 guests interested in learning about our parent nutrition education program, Cooking for Salud.
  • We hosted two Salsita field trips for families from the San Ysidro Health Center, as well as a Mommy and Me field trip.
  • Our Open House and Food and Farm Family Fun Day gave families the opportunity to explore our gardens.
  • Olivewood received the Catalyst For Good Health honorary mention award for our Cooking for Salud program at the Urban Land Institute's annual Healthy Places Awards Dinner.
  • Olivewood supporters joined us for our 2016 Seedling Soiree on May 21st to raise awareness and funding for our programs.
  • We were an exhibitor at the Chula Vista SDG&E Community Resource event, the Grand Opening of National City's Kimball Skate Park, and National City's Let's Connect Expo.
  • We supported the Las Palmas 5k by hosting a water station at the gardens along the 5k route.
  • We hosted a Family Yoga event with local yoga instructors in preparation for the Wanderlust Yoga event.
  • Olivewood attended the San Diego Food Systems Alliance Showcase: Food Systems Changers.
  • Local gardeners joined us to learn about Water-Wise Gardening.
  • Olivewood staff attended the Berry Good Night with other food educators, restaurateurs, and food advocates to celebrate local growers, ranchers, producers, and the movement to create a sustainable food system.
  • We will host our annual Day of Play on June 25th, bringing families to our gardens to learn together, cook together, and grow together!  We have reached capacity and cannot wait to share this wonderful experience with the community!
  • We hosted a very special visit to the Gardens for His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Drupen Samten Rinpoche, and their assistants from India. 


  • A special thank you to the amazing interns and volunteers that helped out this semester!
Upcoming Events and Programs
Summer Break Day Camp
Looking for Summer Break activities for your children? Your child can spend the day at Olivewood Gardens! 
We've planned great activities to get your kids' minds and hands active and engaged in nature and health! 
$25 per child
July 20th and August 10th, 9:30AM - 1:30PM
Call us to Register: 619-434-4281
Taco Tuesday Cooking Class
Learn how to make tasty, healthy tortillas, salsas, and taco fillings.  Harvest produce right from the garden.  Enjoy a Taco Tuesday under the stars at Olivewood!
July 26th, 2 sessions available
Teacher Training Academy
Interested in starting a school garden but don't know where to start?  Join us for a fun and informative breakfast and workshop to learn about creating and sustaining school gardens.
August 12, 8:30AM - 11:30PM
Contact us for details: 619-434-4281
Gardening Workshop
Got bugs?  Join our Garden Manager, Leonard, as he walks you through the ins and outs of diagnosing and managing diseases and pests without chemicals.
August 27, 10AM - 12PM
Call to register: 619-434-4281
Open House
Visit our beautiful gardens, historic Victorian home, and learn about our programs!  Open House is on Saturday, July 23rd from 10AM - 1PM. Tours start at 10:15AM and 12PM.
Click here for details
Couple's Tapas Cooking Class
Join us for a fun night learning to make healthy tapas.  Harvest produce from the Gardens and enjoy your creations under the stars.
September 10th, 2 sessions available
Stay tuned for details
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
SDG&E Summer Tips
Tune up your AC now so you can be a cool cat all summer long. Check out @SDGE's AC Quality Care Program.

Hot tip! You can't turn back time, but you can turn back your thermostat 7-10 degrees for 8 hours per day & save up to 10% a year!
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.

F eatured Restaurant:  Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop

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. 

recipe Featured Recipe
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Garden Tomatoes
An Olivewood Gardens Recipe

Ingredients for Noodles
2 medium zucchinis or summer squash
1/4 red onion or 2 green onions
2 tomatoes

Ingredients for Pesto
2 cups basil
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or parmesan or cotija cheese)
1 clove of garlic
1/2 - 1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Note: Feel free to play with the amounts, depending on your preferences

Using a spiral vegetable slicer, cut zucchini into spaghetti-like noodles. (If you don't have a spiral veggie slicer, peel zucchini into thin strips, rotating the zucchini after each strip.) Roughly chop for shorter noodles.  Dice the onion and tomatoes.  Blend the pesto ingredients.  Combine noodle ingredients with the pesto and viola!  For a warm version, heat in a pan until the noodles are slightly brown in color.

For more recipes, go HERE

Zucchini Fun Facts
We have zucchini and summer squash popping out all over at the Garden this summer!  Zucchini is a sun and warmth loving fruit that is full of great nutrients including Vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, and B vitamins.  Squash is also part of the "Three Sisters," a Native American companion planting tradition consisting of squash, beans, and corn.  These three plants work together to benefit each other - the corn provides structure, the beans grow up the corn and fix nitrogen in the soil, and the squash shades the ground as a natural mulch and deters pests with its spiky leaves.  Eaten together, these three garden finds make up a complete protein!  While this recipe doesn't have all three, you can certainly add some sweet corn and beans (we suggest garbanzos, great northern beans, or another creamy bean) to get all those amino acids!
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