Vallejo Together Garden (Private Residence)
This installation attracted 25 participants, including members from all three Vallejo Together residences: Johanna’s Home for Women, Steve and Kevin’s Home for Men and Aaliyah’s Home for Families. Participants from St. Patrick-St. Vincent high school and volunteers from Sustainable Solano network also joined us. The installation took two days: one for sheet mulching and tree planting, and one for planting fruit trees, pollinator plants and vegetables.
In order to ensure that all produce would be utilized, there were three meetings in each one of the Vallejo Together homes with its members. During these meetings, the vision for the garden was shared, the installation dates and a little background on the project. During these meetings, they were also asked to share the kinds of fruits and vegetables they would want to see in the garden. This was done in an effort to grow culturally appropriate food and ensure that nothing would go to waste. Overall, there was excitement and interest in the project, and the houses that weren’t able to host the garden because they were not an ideal site were disappointed.
Additionally, there were several meetings and phone calls with the house owner and the executive director of Vallejo Together. On the first installation day, a reporter showed up at the installation and an article was written about the collaboration between Sustainable Solano and Vallejo Together.
Results and Impact
In order to ensure the greatest impact, it was agreed upon early on in the project that the produce was going to be shared among all three homes. Because members of Vallejo Together won’t always be the same, the impact of this garden will go beyond the current residents.
On the installation date, there were also opportunities to socialize with everyone who attended. During this installation we had children from the Aaliyah’s Family home who had a lot of fun touching dirt, digging holes, were mesmerized by worms and were curious when the veggies would start coming in.
Over the next five years this garden will create at least 586 pounds of food, which is about 488 meals.
Organizations such as Vallejo Together rent properties for their housing. As such, when working with them, homeowners need to be brought into the conversation immediately.
Residents at Vallejo Together are also not permanent, so there was a need to have two point people who understand the project. However, this person might change as the garden develops.
Maintenance was also a concern that was brought up. Individuals often voiced that they did not want to have to clean up after a garden at the end of their day.
Read more about this project in the article below.