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A long stretch of edible nature was unveiled Thursday at Mission Solano, thanks to community partnerships including Sustainable Solano. The new sustainable garden, also described as a public demonstration food forest, is complete with a laundry-to-landscape greywater system and in-ground water storage. The new venture, explained Mission Solano Executive Director Brandon Wirth, is all about health, sustainability and providing for the Mission’s homeless clients. “We’re excited to see this grow for our clients to enjoy and for our community (also), as it develops,” he said.
Elena Karoulina, executive director of Sustainable Solano, said the project demonstrates leadership and vision. “It also demonstrates the power of community. All the people that came together … joined hands and came to learn,” she shared. She reflected that Thursday was the longest night of the year. “I hope this garden will be a reminder that light will prevail,” she said. “That the light will return.”
Kathleen Huffman, with Sustainable Solano, designed the garden. She shared her excitement at the potential to provide 25,000 pounds of fruits, vegetables and herbs and added that much more was possible. “I have a five year plan,” she emphasized. Her aim is to plug in garden beds wherever there’s a free spot of earth. The more the merrier, she said. A dwarf Alberta Spruce anchors the garden, and herbs and strawberries and sweet potatoes and more surround it. In about a year or so many of the plants will begin bearing produce and Mission Solano clients will be able to sample them. “Better nutrition, better flavor,” Huffman commented. Education is also in the works, with the designer talking with clients about the garden. “I want to teach the people here how to eat better,” she said
Shauna Hughes, chief operating officer at Mission Solano, showed off the greywater system located in the mission’s laundry room. Just one wash provides enough greywater to nourish the garden, she said.
The 707 branch of the SB Freaks motorcycle club did the plumbing with Greywater Action hooking up the greywater system.
Sustainable Solano said similar gardens are slated for Vacaville and Suisun City in 2018.