Sustainable Solano Offers Important Talk on How to Build Connection in Your Own Community

Join us live on Zoom at 4 p.m. July 2 for Reimagining the Neighborhood: A Placemaker’s Journey with Mark Lakeman of The City Repair Project!

Sustainable Solano, a countywide nonprofit, is hosting City Repair’s Mark Lakeman in a virtual conversation over Zoom about powerful but achievable community-level strategies to empower and connect neighbors — strategies that are already taking root across the country. The online talk is free and open to everyone. Part of the conversation will draw upon insight from Sustainable Solano’s Resilient Neighborhoods in Vallejo, which seek to bring neighbors together to create robust and regenerative urban ecosystems.

The need for strong communities where people know and care for their neighbors is more apparent than ever. There is a demand for solutions that allow neighbors to support and rely on each other. Part of that comes from working together on common goals and reclaiming the commons for the people who live there. With the United States possessing the lowest number of community gathering places of all developed nations, it’s time for communities to reimagine what public spaces can look like and work together to transform neighborhoods into vibrant, inclusive and engaging places where life can thrive.

Attendees for the Reimagining the Neighborhood talk will learn about some of Lakeman’s inspiring work with The City Repair Project, which facilitates artistic and ecologically oriented placemaking through projects that honor the interconnection of human communities and the natural world. While City Repair started in Portland, the organization has supported numerous communities in coming together for change. The discussion will include a special focus on community building at the street level and ways that you and your neighbors can organize and begin transforming your block today: from intersection paintings to little free libraries and pantries, the sky’s the limit when it comes to reimagining what a neighborhood can be.

Mark Lakeman’s talk is part of the Solano Sustainable Backyards program and is made possible by the generous support of the Solano County Water Agency.

Register here to receive a Zoom link to the live talk followed by a Q&A session with Mark Lakeman: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reimagining-the-neighborhood-a-placemakers-journey-with-mark-lakeman-tickets-107614646304

 View and print the flyer here.

About Mark Lakeman and The City Repair Project

Mark Lakeman is the cofounder of the nonprofit placemaking organization The City Repair Project, and principal of the community architecture and planning firm Communitecture. Lakeman is also an urban placemaker and permaculture designer, community design facilitator, and an inspiring catalyst in his very active commitment to the emergence of sustainable cultural landscapes everywhere. Every design project he is involved with furthers the development of a beneficial vision for human and ecological communities. Whether this involves urban design and placemaking, ecological building, encourages community interaction, or assists those who typically do not have access to design services, Lakeman’s leadership has benefited communities across the North American continent. These include cities such as Los Angeles, Seattle, and Ottawa where City Repair projects are underway.

Lakeman’s projects have been featured in such publications as Dwell, Architecture Magazine, New Village Journal, Yes magazine, The Utne Reader, Permaculture Activist and many more. With City Repair, in 2003 Mark was awarded the National Lewis Mumford Award by the international organization Architects & Planners for Social Responsibility for his work with Dignity Village, one of the United States’ first self-developed, permanent communities by and for previously homeless people.

To learn more about Lakeman, click here.  

 

About Sustainable Solano

Sustainable Solano is a countywide nonprofit organization that is dedicated to “Nurturing Initiatives for the Good of the Whole.” The organization brings together programs that support and sustain one another and the Solano County community. Initiatives include sustainable landscaping, local food, resilient neighborhoods, sustaining conversations and community gardens.

For more information, visit sustainablesolano.org

Sustainable Solano Offers Water Wisdom Talk and Video Garden Tour

Details:

  • 10-11:45 am Saturday, May 30
  • A live talk with permaculture expert Lydia Neilsen on water management practices and how to design landscapes to absorb water, support vegetation and contribute to the restoration of the global water cycle and climate stability. There will be time during the talk for audience questions.
  • Neilsen also will do a video tour of two Vallejo demonstration food forest gardens. The video will be shared with participants and the general public before her live talk.
  • Participants can join via Zoom by registering in advance here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/water-wisdom-talk-with-lydia-neilsen-tickets-104477920272

Sustainable Solano welcomes back permaculture expert Lydia Neilsen for a live Zoom talk May 30 on the wisdom of conserving and capturing water to heal the planet.

Neilsen will discuss water management practices and how to design landscapes to absorb water, support vegetation and contribute to the restoration of the global water cycle and climate stability. Through her business, Rehydrate the Earth, Neilsen works to address poor water management practices that have negatively affected the environment. She specializes in permaculture education, soil building, greywater, integrated poultry systems, water harvesting earthworks and productive water conserving landscapes, polyculture and efficient uses of limited space.

Neilsen’s talk is free for those who register. There will be time for questions throughout the talk. If more than 100 people register, those who are unable to join live will receive a link to the recorded talk afterward.

Sustainable Solano also is recording a video tour of two Vallejo demonstration food forest gardens with Neilsen that will be released in the days before her live talk. These gardens, created through Sustainable Solano’s Solano Sustainable Backyards program funded by the Solano County Water Agency, are waterwise, edible gardens that build soil, save water, support communities and provide habitat. The video will be shared publicly and sent in a link to those registered for the talk. Register for the talk here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/water-wisdom-talk-with-lydia-neilsen-tickets-104477920272

The event will be similar in format to the successful virtual demonstration food forest garden tour and talk with permaculture expert John Valenzuela in April. Learn more and watch the videos of the talk and tour here: http://sustainablesolano.org/4th-annual-demonstration-food-forest-tour-a-reimagined-success/

 

More on Lydia Neilsen

Lydia Neilsen from Rehydrate the Earth (Permaculture Education, Consultation and Design) and Vital Cycles (a year-long Permaculture Design and Personal Ecology Course co-taught with Anne Freiwald) will be leading this talk. Neilsen seeks to understand and respond to the land, both practically and intuitively, prioritizing the infiltration of water into the landscape in conjunction with the planting of trees and other perennial vegetation to moderate local temperatures and restore water cycles. She educates individuals and communities in the creation of stunning regenerative designs including do-it-yourself-scale earthworks for water infiltration, productive water conserving polyculture landscapes, tree guilds, Biodynamics, soil building, greywater and other Earth healing strategies. In addition to Rehydrate the Earth and Vital Cycles, Neilsen teaches as part of several Bay Area Permaculture Design Courses and is a certified Permaculture Educator through the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA).

Background on the Sustainable Backyards program:

The goal of our program is to introduce the concept and practice of permaculture to Solano County.

These gardens are designed using the basic permaculture ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. The food forest concept is based on groupings of plants that yield food or support the ecosystem of a healthy garden. They rely on secondary water such as rainwater retention and laundry-to-landscape greywater systems to conserve and keep water on-site.

Seven Benicia demonstration food forests were funded by Benicia Community Sustainability Commission in 2014-2016. The expansion of the program to all of Solano County is funded by Solano County Water Agency.

We are always looking for public and private sites around the county that can become new demonstration food forest gardens and would welcome any interested readers to fill out our interest form if they have a site we should consider.

About Sustainable Solano

Sustainable Solano is a countywide nonprofit organization that is dedicated to “Nurturing Initiatives for the Good of the Whole.” The organization brings together programs that support and sustain one another and the Solano County community. Initiatives include sustainable landscaping, local food, resilient neighborhoods, sustaining conversations and community gardens.

For more information, visit sustainablesolano.org

Sustainable Solano Hosts Virtual Demonstration Food Forest Garden Tour, Talk April 25

 

Sustainable Solano is bringing its annual Demonstration Food Forest Garden tour online this year as an interactive talk and virtual tour. Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the nonprofit organization has reimagined the tour in a way that allows participants to join the talk and experience a garden from the comfort of their homes.

About the Tour:

  • Virtual Demonstration Food Forest Garden Tour & Talk
  • 10-11:45 am Saturday, April 25
  • The event will feature a talk by permaculture expert John Valenzuela, followed by a short video tour of one of Sustainable Solano’s demonstration food forest gardens and leaving time for a Q&A session with Valenzuela at the end. The event, hosted on Zoom, will be open to the first 100 people who join that morning. Everyone who registers will also receive a link to the recording of the talk and tour after the live event.
  • Participants must register to get the Zoom link. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/virtual-demonstration-food-forest-garden-tour-talk-tickets-90835089197

The live April 25 talk from John Valenzuela of Cornucopia Food Forest Gardens will cover permaculture and explore how permaculture follows nature as a guide in the garden, our communities and beyond. He will plant ideas on what participants can do today to begin a journey into permaculture and bring these concepts into their own gardens. Valenzuela will discuss how to design a tree guild of plants that work together, the elements of a food forest garden, wise sources of water and expanding that vision to create Resilient Neighborhoods. Together, participants will watch a guided virtual video tour of a demonstration food forest garden that shows what can be done to create edible, waterwise landscapes that support communities and provide natural habitat. The tour will show how capturing rainwater, roof water and greywater from weekly laundry can support a garden that works in harmony with nature. There will be time for a question and answer session at the end.

Valenzuela is a horticulturist, consultant and educator. First introduced to the sustainable design theories and methods of permaculture in 1989, he has studied, practiced and taught permaculture in Hawaii, Washington, Costa Rica and throughout California. His special interests are rare fruit, home gardening, trees, traditional agriculture, plant propagation and ethnobotany. 

This talk and the video tour will launch a series of virtual garden tours from Sustainable Solano. The organization will post virtual tours of demonstration food forest gardens throughout the county. Each garden is a unique experience: some are compact front yards, others are on a slope, some share space with animals and small children, some are allowed to grow without restriction, while others are more manicured. They all are lush, food-producing gardens that are fed by secondary water sources (laundry-to-landscape greywater and rainwater) that offer inspiration for home gardens!

John Valenzuela’s talk is sponsored by Republic Services; the tour and Solano Sustainable Backyards program are made possible by the generous support of the Solano County Water Agency

 

Useful links:

Solano Sustainable Backyards: http://sustainablesolano.org/solano-sustainable-backyard/

John Valenzuela: https://cornucopiafoodforest.wordpress.com/about-2/

Resilient Neighborhoods: http://sustainablesolano.org/resilient-neighborhoods/

About Sustainable Solano

Sustainable Solano is a countywide nonprofit organization that is dedicated to “Nurturing Initiatives for the Good of the Whole.” The organization, now in its second decade, brings together programs that support and sustain one another and the Solano County community. Initiatives include sustainable landscaping, local food, resilient neighborhoods, sustaining conversations and community gardens.

Sustainable Solano Offers Online Farm-to-Table Cooking Classes Featuring Specialty Crops

 

Sustainable Solano is bringing its farm-to-table cooking class series online. The classes highlight how to prepare seasonal, local food in healthy dishes.

While classes were originally planned to start in March, best practices for addressing health and safety with coronavirus (COVID-19) mean that in-person classes have been postponed until a later date. But that has opened an opportunity to reach more class participants by offering some of the planned classes online, starting with live classes on April 9 and April 18. Participants will have the opportunity to see a demonstration cooking class for a seasonal salad made with ingredients directly from local farms in Solano and nearby counties. They will also be able to ask questions over Zoom video conferencing.

Sustainable Solano, a nonprofit organization that has been working to build community interest in local food, plans 88 cooking classes around Solano County in the next two years. These cooking classes include those for the general public taught in the community as well as those taught through employee wellness programs, and are part of Sustainable Solano’s larger vision to create an environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially just local food system in Solano County.

The classes highlight local specialty crops, which include fruit, vegetables, beans, tree nuts and culinary herbs.

Class participants will learn about CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture. CSAs create a way for community members to buy a share of the harvest directly from local farmers. Customers pay a set amount and receive a box of seasonal produce or other farm products in return. Such arrangements help farmers receive a greater share of the money paid, bring customers fresh, local produce and promote health, community and the local economy.

Stay tuned for more cooking classes coming soon at SustainableSolano.org/events and by subscribing to the Sustainable Solano newsletter here.

 

Here is information on the first two classes:

 Farm-to-Table Cooking Class

4 pm, April 9 (Thursday)

Register for a Zoom link

Free

Join Sustainable Solano’s Local Food Program Manager Stephanie Oelsligle Jordan for a lively online demonstration cooking class that celebrates spring ingredients and supports local farmers. Learn tips and tricks for storing ingredients and cooking seasonally from a CSA box. Using Solano-grown specialty crops, Chef Steph will prepare a Spring Salad with Peas, Pistachios & Pecorino with Lemon Vinaigrette.

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farm-to-table-virtual-cooking-class-tickets-101807757744

 

Farm-to-Table Cooking Class

11 am, April 18 (Saturday)

Register for Zoom link

Free

Join Sustainable Solano’s Local Food Program Manager Stephanie Oelsligle Jordan for a lively online demonstration cooking class that celebrates spring ingredients and supports local farmers. Learn tips and tricks for storing ingredients and cooking seasonally from a CSA box. Using Solano-grown specialty crops, Chef Steph will prepare an Asparagus Salad with Sesame-Tangerine Vinaigrette.

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farm-to-table-virtual-cooking-class-tickets-101809484910

 

Funding for promotion of specialty crops through cooking classes was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM190100XXXXG008. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necesssarily represent the official views of the USDA.

 

Statement on Coronavirus COVID-19 and Sustainable Solano Workshops and Events

 

UPDATE: APRIL 1, 4:45 PM: Sustainable Solano has halted all in-person events until further notice. You can find a list of Community Resilience Resources here and upcoming online events here.

UPDATE: MARCH 18, 6 PM: In light of the latest “shelter at home” guidance, we are postponing all events through April 7.

We are aware of the heightened concern in Solano County and throughout the Bay Area about the spread of coronavirus and have been keeping a close eye on the news and releases and recommendations from Solano Public Health on the best ways to keep our workshop attendees, participants, staff and volunteers safe during this time of uncertainty.

To that end, we will be postponing and rescheduling all of our events planned through April 7.

We will constantly be monitoring the latest guidance to make decisions on events planned after April 7 and will provide updates as needed.

We know this is a time of uncertainty and fear. We appreciate that you are continuing to be involved within your community, while respecting the need to protect those who are most vulnerable to this disease within our communities. We hope you can join us at a later date for these workshops and others. Together, we are stronger.

We will update any changes to these plans based on the latest guidance and the local and state level.

Resources:

Find COVID-19 information and guidance from Solano Public Health here

You can find all COVID-19 guidance from the California Department of Public Health here

Visit the Solano County Public Health Facebook page (@SolanoCountyPH) for regular COVID-19 updates

Register for Alert Solano to receive emergency alerts on your favorite mobile device, including COVID-19

 

Sustainable Solano Offers Farm-to-Table Cooking Classes Featuring Specialty Crops

 

Cooking classes highlighting how to prepare seasonal, local food in healthy dishes are coming to Solano County this year, starting with a class March 18 in Benicia. The second class will be April 4 in Fairfield.

Sustainable Solano, a nonprofit organization that has been working to build community interest in local food, plans 88 cooking classes around Solano County in the next two years. These cooking classes include those for the general public taught in the community as well as those taught through employee wellness programs, and are part of Sustainable Solano’s larger vision to create an environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially just local food system in Solano County.

The classes highlight local specialty crops, which include fruit, vegetables, beans, tree nuts and culinary herbs.

Class participants also will learn about CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture, during the classes. CSAs create a way for community members to buy a share of the harvest directly from local farmers. Customers pay a set amount and receive a box of seasonal produce or other farm products in return. Such arrangements help farmers receive a greater share of the money paid, bring customers fresh, local produce and promote health, community and the local economy.

At the Benicia class, participants will get a brief tour of the existing CSA Center at Heritage Presbyterian Church, while participants in the Fairfield class will learn about the area farms that will be delivering to the new CSA Center planned at The Lazy Barn.

Stay tuned for more cooking classes coming soon at SustainableSolano.org/events and by subscribing to the Sustainable Solano newsletter here.

 

Here is information on the first two classes:

Farm-to-Table Cooking Class

6-8 pm, March 18

Heritage Presbyterian Church, 1400 East Second St., Benicia

$10 per person/$15 for two people

Join Sustainable Solano’s Local Food Program Manager and chef Stephanie Oelsligle Jordan for a lively demonstration cooking class that celebrates spring ingredients and supports local farmers. Take a brief tour of the Community Supported Agriculture Center in Benicia, then learn tips and tricks for storing ingredients and cooking seasonally from a CSA box. Using Solano-grown specialty crops, Chef Steph will prepare an Asparagus Salad with Sesame-Tangerine Vinaigrette, Sautéed Radishes and Spicy Quick-Pickled Vegetables. Generous tastings and recipe packets included!

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farm-to-table-cooking-class-and-csa-tour-tickets-97672223249

 

Farm-to-Table Cooking Class

11 am-12:30 pm, April 4

The Lazy Barn, 735 Texas St., Fairfield

$10 per person/$15 for two people

Join Sustainable Solano’s Local Food Program Manager and chef Stephanie Oelsligle Jordan for a lively demonstration cooking class that celebrates spring ingredients and supports local farmers. Come see which Community Supported Agriculture offerings are coming soon to The Lazy Barn, plus learn tips and tricks for storing ingredients and cooking seasonally from a CSA box. Chef Steph will prepare an Asparagus Salad with Sesame-Tangerine Vinaigrette and Sautéed Radishes and highlight the health benefits of these Solano-grown specialty crops. Generous tastings and recipe packets included!

To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farm-to-table-cooking-class-and-csa-demonstration-tickets-97673230261

 

Funding for promotion of specialty crops through cooking classes was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM190100XXXXG008. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necesssarily represent the official views of the USDA.