By Sustainable Solano
We are excited to build upon two of our garden programs to support a new demonstration food forest and community garden in Dixon that will provide produce for the community, educate children about connecting with food and the local agricultural community, and build another example of waterwise, sustainable gardening that can inspire and educate others.
This Dixon Community Church site will soon be converted from grass to a lush, waterwise community garden

The new Dixon garden, Gracious Garden, will be developed in partnership with Dixon Community Church and the Neighborhood Christian School. Neighborhood Christian School serves preschool through eighth grade and has been a part of the community for more than 40 years. The school partnered with Dixon Community Church in relocating the campus this past year. The church has served Dixon for more than 100 years and is on East A Street, where the garden will be highly visible to passers-by.

“We anticipate creating a first in the community food forest, filled with perennials and other diverse crops,” Principal Eden Callison said. “As much as 80% of the yield would be donated to our local food bank partners: Dixon Family Services, CornerStone Baptist Church … as well as in the future create a farmers market style event to continue to highlight and provide opportunity for students and families to sell items made from the garden and provide a full circle educational experience to students within our school and community.”

The vision is to combine efforts through Sustainable Solano’s Solano Sustainable Backyards and Solano Gardens programs to develop different aspects of the completed garden, creating a more robust demonstration site in the process. This is the first time the two programs would work together on a site from design through installation, and we hope it can create a model for future projects.

“I am thrilled that this will be our second demonstration food forest in Dixon and it will serve to educate a large population on how to replace a lawn with a water-efficient food forest garden that includes a section for annual food production,” said Solano Sustainable Backyards Program Manager Nicole Newell.

Tour a Demonstration Food Forest March 12

Solano Sustainable Backyards previously brought a demonstration food forest to a Dixon home in 2020, transforming that lawn into a sustainable landscape.

On March 12, the public can tour that two-year-old residential demonstration food forest garden, named Pollinators Paradise, and see how the site captures rainwater and roofwater in the ground to build healthy soil and provide more readily accessible water to the plants in the garden. This site was originally a water-hungry lawn, but now provides food for the occupants and habitat for wildlife, particularly through an abundance of plants to support pollinators. During the tour, permaculture designer John Scott will go over the steps to transform a lawn into a thriving, water-efficient ecosystem.

Learn about how to install a food forest garden by watching the series of videos below created during the installation of Pollinators Paradise.


Learn Hands-on Garden Techniques March 19 & 26

The installation of Gracious Garden will create an opportunity for hands-on learning about creating gardens that grow food, build community and support a healthier environment. On March 19 and March 26, hands-on workshops will install the first phase with a water-efficient demonstration food forest garden through the Solano Sustainable Backyards program, funded by the Solano County Water Agency. Designer Phil Gray will lead those workshops.

The community garden portion of the design will begin installation in April, and is supported through the Solano Gardens program, funded by Solano County. Designer John Davenport will lead workshops for that part of the project on dates that will be announced soon.