Do you own your home in Vallejo? Are you interested in living a more sustainable life? We are inviting you to consider becoming a demonstration food forest keeper! With the help of the community, we’ll convert your lawn, if applicable, and install a permaculture food forest and a laundry-to- landscape greywater system that will feed all the trees and bushes in your new garden!

Why permaculture food forest?

A 2,000 sq. ft.-lawn requires about 90,000 gallons of water a year. A mature 2,000 sq. ft. food forest needs about 20,000 gallons of water per year and not all of this water needs to come from the municipal source. Of this amount of water, our goal is to utilize as much free (rain) and secondary water. Rain water from your roof and greywater from your laundry will be diverted to the specially prepared mulch basins and swales in your garden – a system of ditches filled with mulch that will slow down and absorb into the soil every drop of water finding its way to your garden.

In Benicia, we have already transformed seven yards from lawns into luscious, thriving food forests utilizing secondary water (rainwater and greywater). You can come meet the team and tour three of these gardens on February 25, March 25 and April 22! Visit our events calendar to register.

Sustainable Solano is beginning the next stage of our Sustainable Backyard Program. We are now expanding into Vallejo.

What we will do

Imagine a thriving, vibrant eco-system in your front-or backyard! A few fruit trees surrounded by native and Mediterranean plants, berries, perennial vegetables, flowers, with enough space for your annual favorites.

Birds, Bees and Beyond, one of the original Benicia Sustainable Backyard Demonstration Food Forest Installations, Winter 2016

The installation of this demonstration food forest is sponsored by the Solano County Water Agency and is free to Vallejo homeowners. Your new garden will become a community educational center! Your responsibility will be to maintain the food forest (a list of sustainable landscapers in your area will be provided, if you need extra help), to enjoy plentiful harvest, and participate in future annual tours of Sustainable Solano landscapes.

Application Process

The application process starts on February 20, 2017 and goes until March 27, 2017. The installation will happen on three Saturdays in April-May. The homeowner must be available for these dates: April 22, 29, May 6, 13. At least one of the homeowners is required to attend the volunteer training. While we are particularly interested in highly visible front-yard lawns to convert, other types of landscape (up to 2,000 sq.ft.) are welcome to participate. We will visit all the applying households to evaluate their suitability for a permaculture food forest and a laundry-to- landscape greywater system.

Sustainable Solano Board and the Permaculture Advisory Board will make the final selection based on the proposed sites’ characteristics.

For more information, to see videos of the previous food forests installation and to apply, please visit

If you’re excited to start and already know you want to dive in, please review the Memorandum of Understanding and download the Application!