Happy Thanksgiving!  We wish you a wonderful, healthful, and thankful holiday!  We are so fortunate to have such amazing supporters, volunteers, donors, friends, and partners who dedicate their passion, energy, and expertise to Olivewood.  You are the heroes that create real and lasting impact in our communities!
This year, Olivewood is participating in #GivingTuesday, a celebration of generosity.  We invite you to make a donation to support our garden-based nutrition education programs.

With your help, we hope to raise $10,000 this holiday season.  We are excited to announce that Sprouts Chula Vista will be matching donations up to $2500 through the end of 2015.  

The Kitchenistas of National City 

Olivewood is honored to be featured in the new short documentary film "The Kitchenistas of National City," focused on the trials and triumphs of graduates of our Cooking for Salud! program.  If you haven't seen the preview yet, be sure to check it out HERE.

The film had its U.S. premiere at the I Imagine Film Festival in New York and its international premiere at the Global Health Film Festival in London. The film will be released to the public in 2016 and we look forward to hosting screenings... so stay tuned!

For more information about the film, visit TheKitchenistasMovie.org

Food and Farm Family Fun 
Saturday, December 5th, 2015
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Take a family outing to beautiful Olivewood Gardens to explore
the connections between food, health, and nature.
Take part in hands-on cooking, gardening, and educational activities as a family. 
This program is for c hildren with their parents, grandparents, or
the "cool" aunt or uncle!  Programming is best suited for children ages 4 and up. 


Open House
Saturday December 12th, 10am to 1pm

Learn about our historic roots, current gardening 
practices, and plans to impact the future of National City. 
Tours include g arden  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

Winter/Spring Internships Available!
Come to our next volunteer orientation and find out more about the different opportunities to be an intern here at the Gardens.  

The positions available for next semester are: 
Nutrition Education Intern
Program Coordination Intern
Elementary Education Intern
Garden Intern

Elementary Education Intern, Chelsea,
was also the volunteer of the month! 

As the Elementary Education Intern, Chelsea is in charge of teaching kids about Plant Parts, Natural Resources, MyPlate, and other important concepts related to nutrition, gardening, and the environment. 
Her favorite lesson is the Olivewood Gardens Ecosystem.  Chelsea is a dedicated volunteer that is amazing with the students. She enjoys working with the kids at Olivewood so much that it has been helped her narrow down her career path to becoming a teacher.  

When she is not at Olivewood, Chelsea is working hard at her part-time job or in school, getting ready to graduate next May with a BA in Public Health from SDSU!  Way to go, Chelsea! 

Dine for a good cause at Machete!
December 6th, at 6:00pm

Come out for a taste of the South Bay at the #SouthBayUprising Dinner.  Proceeds from the event will support Olivewood's Cooking for Salud!TM Program!

The dinner will feature six Chefs, all raised in South Bay, creating a dish inspired by the cities they grew up in: 
Alex Emery
Rose Peyron
Elliot Townsend
Claudia Sandoval
Ami Cisneros 
Philip Esteban 

- 6 courses all paired with Beer from Council Brewing! 
- 21+ event only! $70 per person 

Get tickets HERE


Dine for a good cause at Puesto!  
For every vegan taco trio you purchase, Puesto donates a dollar to Olivewood Gardens!

Don't miss out on the tasty Coliflor Asada taco, a creation by Puesto's Chef Luisteen Gonzalez and singer/songwriter Tristan Prettyman!  The taco is available at Puesto at the Headquarters and Puesto La Jolla.

Puesto's Coliflor Asada tacos

What We're Up To
November & December
  • We hosted free Public Tours of the Gardens and Learning Center every Tuesday at 10am. 
  • School field trips continued throughout the month. We welcomed five Head Start Preschool Classes visiting us for the first time, getting kids to start eating healthy and connecting with nature and gardens early in their lives.
  • Educators and parents from throughout the county learned how to engage children with food preparation and healthy food consumption during our Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE) Training Academy.
  • We hosted a leadership summit for National School District School Principals and District Leaders.  After a tour of the gardens, they rolled up their sleeves and learned how to make healthy veggie tacos in our teaching kitchen.
  • We welcomed new volunteers at our monthly Volunteer Orientation.
  • The Kitchenistas hosted their monthly meeting and enjoyed a Thanksgiving potluck, Kitchenista-style.
  • The Resident Leadership Academy for National City Residents is now on its 6th session out of 10.  Residents are learning to identify community needs and engage in the civic process to find solutions.
  • During the National School District Safety and Wellness Festival on November 19th, we had a leaf tasting challenge for kids and lots of health information for attendees. You would never guess the veggie they liked the most... it was fennel!! 
  • The Kitchenistas organized a clean-up of Butterfly Park on November 23rd. Have you ever been to this park in National City?
  • Community members joined us for our Open House during the week of Thanksgiving, on November 24th.
Children from O'Farrell showing off their carrots!
  • Students will participate in our children's program throughout the month until the winter break. 
  • Every Tuesday at 10am we host a free Public Tour of the Gardens.
  • Our two wonderful high school interns will facilitate the For the Health of It! workshop, on December 4th, from 1pm to 3pm inviting fellow high schoolers to Olivewood to learn about healthy eating and cook a healthy recipe.
  • Children and Parents will be welcomed for our Food and Farm Family Fun Program, which will take place on Saturday, December 5th, from 10am to 12pm.  
  • We will host a Volunteer Orientation on December 9th and an Orientation in Spanish on December 17th.
  • Community members are invited to our Open House on December 12th.
  • The Kitchenistas will come to the Gardens for their monthly meeting, this month exploring their creativity through art with Artist Roberto Salas.
  • Participants from the Resident Leadership Academy will graduate on December 15th! 
  • We will participate as a vendor at the SDG&E Community Resource Fair on December 4th from 9am to 3pm at the SDG&E Chula Vista Bill Pay Center, located on 436 H St., Chula Vista.
  • We will be closed for the holidays from December 24th through January 4th.
SDG&E Tips for the Winter
Featured Recipe

Cauliflower Potato Mash
Created by Kati Christensen

½ head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 medium potato, diced
½ cup reduced-fat milk or unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk
salt and pepper, to taste
Note: You may also want to add some additional ingredients to flavor your Cauliflower and Potato Mash... here are a few suggestions!
red chili flakes, green onions, finely chopped garlic, minced fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley; shredded cheese, such as cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella; or nutritional yeast

1.  Chop cauliflower into florets. Steam the cauliflower in a steamer basket over boiling water for 15 minutes. (You can also steam in the microwave: use a microwave safe container with cauliflower and ¼ cup of water and cover for 5 minutes.)
2.  Dice potatoes. (I like to leave the skin on the potatoes but the choice is yours!) Boil until soft.
3. Once cauliflower and potatoes are ready, combine in a food processor or blender with low-fat milk, until you've reached desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. As you work with the cauliflower and potatoes, they may begin to cool. You can either microwave them for 30-60 seconds or put them in the oven for 5 minutes to warm them up.
5. Feel free to add any extra ingredients for flavor... onions, garlic, chili flakes, cheese, herbs, or anything else you can think of!! Enjoy!!

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Students from Lincoln Acres feeding chickens during a 
Field Trip
Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center  was created by the  International Community Foundation  to further its vision of assuring healthy communities and healthy economies in the 
cross-border region.

A mother and daughter enjoying Veggie Frittatas.
Follow the Seasons with
Fresh Veggies!

  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  Cherianne Barry .
Specialty Produce
Farmers' Market Box contents

Students from Lincoln Acres learning about the OWG Ecosystem
Olivewood Gardens 
and Learning Center
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 Support Staff
Ananda Gunasekara
Michael Ramirez
Adan Teposte
(619) 434-4281
2525 N Avenue
National City, CA 91950

Educators practicing a lesson at our Garden Enhanced Nutrition Education (GENE) Training Academy.
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

Susy Villegas

Trish Watlington


Our Leaf Tasting Challenge chart results for the NSD Safety and Wellness Festival on November 19th
Participants during the Resident Leadership Academy learning about Environmental Change
Principal Steven Sanchez
from Las Palmas Elementary cooking veggie tacos at Olivewood on Nov. 9th with other NSD leaders