Thank you SDG&E for your recent grant supporting our Environmental Stewardship Program for Children!


3rd graders from Lincoln Acres enjoying their veggie frittatas!
Unwind at the End
of the Day!

Join us on Thursday evenings at 5pm for stretching and relaxation in our tranquil garden setting. Our beginner-friendly yoga class includes 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.

Class ends on October 29th for the season.  Don't miss out!


A passion fruit flower blooming in the Garden.
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

Kitchenistas Maria, Julie, and Patty with Executive Director Healy featured on Channel 6 news.
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

Board of Directors
  • ChairMary L. Walshok, Ph.D
  • Vice Chair: Sam Dychter, M.D.
  • TreasurerRichard L. Romney
  • SecretaryJacqueline Reynoso
  • Cathe Burnham
  • James Clark
  • Dennis Doyle, Ph.D.
  • 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 its vision of assuring healthy communities and healthy economies in the 
cross-border region.
"The Kitchenistas of National City"

"The Kitchenistas of National City" is a documentary film short showing the struggles and triumphs of the graduates of our Cooking for Salud! program and their families living with diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions related to food.

The documentary debuted at the I Imagine Film Festival in New York on October 8th and has also been accepted into the Global Health Film Festival in London, to show on October 31st.  We are excited to share the story of the Kitchenistas with the world.  You can watch the official trailer of the documentary at:

Welcome to our New Nutrition Program Coordinator and Coordinator of Volunteers and Outreach

Cherianne Barry
Nutrition Program Coordinator

Cherianne has a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  Cherianne spent 11 years working as a teacher and coach in Chicago Public Schools before making the move to sunny San Diego in July 2015.  She brings to us her experience in curriculum writing, teacher mentorship, and nutrition education.  While working on Chicago's South Side, Cherianne observed the effects of poor nutrition habits on student performance in school.  She worked with leadership to establish school wellness policies, and she introduced nutrition and movement programming into the curriculum.  With a personal passion for sports and fitness, Cherianne is excited to bring her skills and love of healthy food to the Olivewood Gardens community.  In her free time, you'll find Cherianne running, swimming, cooking, or watching Chicago sports. 

Cristina Juarez
Coordinator of Volunteers and Outreach

Cristina grew up in Mexico and migrated to San Diego as a teenager, where she obtained her BA in Sociology from SDSU. Passionate about social issues, she conducted research for the San Diego State University Research Foundation and has been a community organizer for many years, getting young adults involved in different projects.  She is interested in creating and supporting spaces where people can build community while they learn and pass onto others how to live loving, healthy lives. Cristina enjoys traveling, spending time with her nephews, and playing music with her friends.
Email Cristina to sign up for any of the volunteering positions, if you have any questions or if you just want to say hi!

Teacher Training Academy
GENErating Healthy Eaters
Sponsored in part by 
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals

Friday, November 6
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

How do you get kids to eat the fruits and veggies they've grown in the garden?  Need ideas for recipes, age appropriate cooking activities, or food related books?  You can use your existing school garden to enhance nutrition education for youth and promote the consumption of fruits and vegetables.  Come to our GENE class to learn how!

Register for the class HERE!
Fee waivers available

Food and Farm Family Program
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.
Children with their parents, grandparents, the "cool" aunt or uncle, etc.!  Programming is best suited for children ages 4 and up.
Children ages 3 and under free.

Take part in hands-on cooking, gardening, and educational activities as a family.

Register for the program  HERE !

A family preparing vegetables for quinoa salad with citrus vinaigrette.
Open House
Tuesday, November 24, 10am-1pm

Learn about our historic roots, current gardening practices, and plans to impact the future of National City. Tours include 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
Dine for a good cause at Puesto!  
For each vegan taco trio you purchase, one dollar goes to support the programs at Olivewood Gardens!

The new Coliflor Asada Taco, created by Puesto's Chef Luisteen Gonzalez and local singer/songwriter  Tristan Prettyman, is worth a try!

The taco is available at Puesto's La Jolla and Headquarters locations. 

  Puesto's Coliflor Asada Taco Trio  
  SSDopVol Volunteer with Olivewood

Volunteer Corrie teaches Eric, a Food and Farm Family Fun participant, how to use the tortilla press.  

Looking for an opportunity to get involved in the community?  Join the Olivewood team as a volunteer!  We have opportunities for everyone, from working with children to helping out in the office. 

Upcoming volunteer activities include assisting with field trips, family events, and of course, HALLOWEEN! 
In addition to our ongoing opportunities, we are currently looking to fill the following intern positions:

Learn more about volunteering HERE
Cultivating Conversation: A Dine and Learn Series
Farm-to-Table or Farm-to-Fable?

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.

Guest Speaker Troy Johnson from the San Diego Magazine will help us to navigate the San Diego food scene and discuss the implications of eating locally sourced food.

Keep an eye out for the date and featured restaurant - coming soon!
What We're Up To
October and November

  • "The Kitchenistas of National City" documentary debuted in New York at the I Imagine Film Festival and Executive Director, Healy Vigderson, represented Olivewood Gardens.
  • The Kitchenistas were featured on Channel 10 and Channel 6.
  • We participated as a vendor at the Good Food Community Fair hosted by Slow Food Urban San Diego.
  • We hosted the monthly Kitchenistas meeting and a canning/preserving and pickling class.
  • Educators and parents joined us for our Creating and Sustaining Your School Garden workshop.
  • We are hosting the last month of Deep Yoga Outdoor Bliss Classes before daylight savings ends.
  • Olivewood introduced new volunteers to the organization at our Volunteer Orientation.
  • We participated in the San Diego Food Waste Summit to discuss food security and food waste. 
  • Families joined us on October 17th for our Food and Farm Family program and on October 22nd for our San Ysidro Health Center Salsita program field trip.
  • Chef Luisteen Gonzalez and the team from Puesto made a warm Mexican salad with masa balls and dulce de calabaza (sweet squash) with students from Kimball Elementary.
  • Channel 5 News featured Olivewood and Puesto on their morning show.
  • We are haunting the gardens for Halloween!
  • National City community members joined us for our third Resident Leadership Academy.

Students from Olivewood Elementary preparing chard for veggie frittatas.

  • School field trips continue throughout the month. We have Head Start Preschool Classes visiting us for the first time, getting kids to start eating healthy and learning about the gardens early in their lives.
  • We continue to have our Public Tour every Tuesday at 10 AM.
  • Educators and parents will come to the Gardens for our GENErating Healthy Eaters training on November 6th.
  • We will host a Volunteer Orientation on November 11th.
  • The Kitchenistas will come to the Gardens for their monthly meeting.
  • We will empower community members at the Resident Leadership Academy.
  • We will participate as a vendor at the National School District Safety and Wellness Festival.
  • Community members are welcome to join us for our Open House on November 24th.
  • We will host a leadership summit for National School District.

In the Community

7th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival
Celebrate the living and honor the dead at the Dia de los Muertos Festival in National City!  Come out for food, entertainment, face painting, games, contents, and raffles.  Special performance by Latin Grammy Winner Carlos Lopez Estrada and Ana Barbara with Mariachi
Sunday, November 1, 2015 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Monday, November 2, 2015, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
3191 Orange Street
National City, CA 91950
More information HERE

Soil Shindig 
Celebrate one of the world's most amazing precious natural resources, SOIL!  Come out for a day of learning, discovering, creating, connecting, and experiencing the key role soils play in our daily lives.
Saturday, November 7, 2015, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
2570 Sunset Ave, San Diego, CA 92154
Learn more  HERE

Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Conference
The  conference  will explore the confluence of agricultural innovation and the escalating demand for locally grown food.  
Tuesday, November 3- Wednesday, November 4, 2015
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Rady School of Management - UC San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla CA 92093
Learn more  HERE

9th Annual State of the City Address (with a Twist)
Join National City Mayor Ron Morrison and community members for an informative and entertaining evening.  The address will be followed by a free "Taste of National City."
November 9, 2015, 5:00 PM social networking, 6:00 PM State of the City Address
Cornerstone Church
1920 Sweetwater Road
National City, CA 91950
Emergency Preparedness Tips
From Olivewood supporter SDG&E
  • Power Plan - Before an emergency 
    • For those with medical conditions that requires access to energy use, enroll in SDG&E's Medical Baseline program which provides not only a bill discount but notifications should power be disrupted.
    • Identify places near your home, work and school that have back-up power available in the event of a sustained outage.
    • Keep your car's gas tank at least half full. Remember it takes electricity to pump gas.
    • Refresh your emergency kit. Connect to checklists here.
  • During an emergency
  • Plan ahead to be prepared and stay safe at home. Here are 3 easy ways.
    1. Schedule a FREE gas safety check before cold weather arrives to ensure your gas appliances are in safe working condition.
    2. Call 811 before you dig to have your underground utilities marked so you can work around them safely.
    3. When planting trees take the "right tree, right place" approach to ensure trees don't interfere with overhead or underground utility lines.

Featured Recipe:
Kale Salad with Jalape ñ o Vinaigrette
Created by Chef Miguel Valdez


¼ cup lime juice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup cilantro leaves, packed
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

2 small carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 bunch of kale, thick stems removed, thinly sliced
1 cup roasted corn
½ cup quinoa
10 small cooked beets
½ cup pumpkin seeds

1. First, quick pickle the carrots . In a small bowl, toss the carrot slices with apple cider vinegar and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Toss to combine and let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad, tossing every so often.
2. Next, make the dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and puree until combined. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
3. Place sliced kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with ¼ cup of dressing. Using your hands, massage dressing into the kale to soften. Toss kale with corn, beets, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and pickled carrots (discard vinegar). Add additional dressing before serving.