This August, Sustainable Solano celebrates the expansion of its Sustainable Backyard Program bringing inspirational speakers and free educational workshops and classes to Fairfield. The program will offer Fairfield homeowners passionate about sustainability and community resilience an opportunity to become “food forest keepers” of public demonstration gardens in exchange for a 5-year commitment of public tours and workshops (once or twice per calendar year on a mutually agreed upon schedule). Installations and tours are free and open to the public for a hands-on experience on how to grow food, save water and build community.

The application period begins August 15th and ends September 30th. Installations will take place on three separate weekend dates for each yard in the months of October and November.

Two Fairfield yards will be selected for conversion into edible forest gardens based on permaculture design principles complete with a laundry-to-landscape and rain water catchment system. Rain and secondary water from the laundry will be diverted to mulch-filled ditches, called swales, to slow down and absorb water into the soil using every drop to feed fruit trees, shrubs and plants. Highly visible front-yard lawns are preferred but other types of landscapes (up to 2,000 square feet) are welcome to apply. Households will be evaluated for suitability for a permaculture food forest and a laundry-to-landscape greywater system.

The installation of these demonstration food forests are sponsored by the Solano County Water Agency and are free of cost to selected homeowners. The significant annual water-saving impact of the already established demonstration food forests in Benicia private homes caught the attention of the Solano County Water Agency who supported the expansion of the program to greater Solano County resulting in two additional private demonstration gardens in Vallejo installed in March and April of 2017.

Suisun City and Vacaville residents interested in the program can experience a preview of what is to come to their cities in 2018 by attending these public installations and future workshops after these gardens are established.

Applicants must be available on installation dates and are encouraged to attend the volunteer training workshops offered to the public to learn more about the Sustainable Backyard program, basic permaculture design principles and wise water usage. Fairfield residents may download an application by going to www.sustainablesolano.org or by contacting Sustainable Backyard Program Manager, Nicole Newell at nicole@sustainablsolano.org.

Permaculture and Community: A 13-Year-Old’s Perspective

By Rileigh Barton Hi, I’m Rileigh, and I’m 13 years old. I volunteer for Sustainable Solano with my dad. I’ve gone to two Sustainable Landscaping classes so far at a food forest in Fairfield called “Mom’s Delight.” But first, I’ll tell you a little about me, and how I...

Fairfield Demonstration Food Forest Installations In Progress

Our Sustainable Backyard program has begun digging into Fairfield! On November 4th, attendees of the first installation workshop at "Mom's Delight" demonstration food forest site learned basic design principles for building a backyard permaculture food forest and...

Two Demonstration Gardens Coming to Fairfield!

Sustainable Solano will be installing two demonstration food forest gardens in Fairfield at a private residence and one public location as part of its Sustainable Backyard program. The program aims to teach gardening techniques based on permaculture design principles...

Suisun Valley Elementary Kids to Develop Their Own Food Forest

  Kathleen, Larry and Elena taught a hands-on swale workshop to the Suisun Valley eighth graders in the spring of 2017 on how to use swales in storing rainwater in the ground.  Now that the kids are back in school, designing the Demonstration Food Forest is the next...

Our vision for Solano Community Food Centers is funded by USDA

Food, environment and human health, local economy and resilient communities By Elena Karoulina Executive Director of Sustainable Solano When was the last time you had Solano-grown produce on your dinner table? The most possible answer is ‘never’, unless you grow your...

Inspiring David Shaw Talk Launches Sustainable Backyard Program in Fairfield!

  Sustainable Solano recently expanded its Sustainable Backyard Program to the City of Fairfield by launching a series of public education classes and workshops on the topics of sustainability, community resilience and sustainable landscaping. On August 26th,...

Sustainability Through Permaculture in Solano County

By Tina Saravia, U.C. Master Gardener, Solano County It all started for me in September 2014, when I attended a talk on Permaculture in Benicia with another Master Gardener friend. I have heard of Permaculture for years, but it always seemed like a foreign concept to...

Sustainable Backyard Program Expands Into Fairfield!

This August, Sustainable Solano celebrates the expansion of its Sustainable Backyard Program bringing inspirational speakers and free educational workshops and classes to Fairfield. The program will offer Fairfield homeowners passionate about sustainability and...

Wise Water: An Informative Video from Sustainable Solano

For the past two years we've been working on our Demonstration Food Forests, with a major component of it being Wise Water use. Now, with the help of Constance Beutel, videographer extraordinaire, we wanted to share with everyone how very simple and replicable it is....

Suisun Valley 7th Graders Slow it, Spread it, and Sink it

Suisun Valley Elementary School is located in the heart of a Suisun City, an agricultural community just south of Fairfield. Fittingly, it's an Agri-Science school focused on the environmental stewardship and health of the community. Sustainable Solano is helping the...

Swale Tales: An experience of the Vallejo Installations and 7 Food Forest Tour

By Allison Nagel   Sometimes the hardest thing about finding something new is wrapping your brain around how to approach it. When it comes to permaculture and sustainable gardening, no online resource can replace seeing, walking through, discussing and getting down on...

Day 1: Vallejo Food Forest Educational Workshops

By Allison Nagel   On Saturday, about 15 volunteers arrived at the Enchanted Cottage Garden for the first day of transforming the Vallejo home's front yard into a food forest. Eight cubic yards of mulch, a stack of cardboard and a nondescript patch of grass in the...

Curious about our Vallejo Demonstration Food Forest Sites?

Learn about the plots, the schedules for the days, the families involved, and dive in to our community installation event! The future Vallejo Demonstration Food Forests The Enchanted Cottage Garden is a water-sucking, plain lawn that wants to become so much more for...

Sustainable Solano Creating Wise Water Documentary

Over the weekend, Sustainable Solano, with our wonderful Constance Beutel as camera-woman and director, shot scenes for a Water-Wise documentary video. The video was shot at Birds, Bees & Beyond, one of the Demonstration Food Forests, with commentary from Executive...

What can be taught in a garden?

What can be taught in a garden? Suisun Valley Elementary School is already teaching and gardening, sharing a curriculum developed through the Edible Schoolyard Project, whose mission is building and sharing an edible education curriculum for kindergarten through high...

Interested in learning more about Fairfield or applying? Read the Memo Of Understanding or Download the Application!