A Growing Future

Food Forest Keepers: Cassandra

A resident of Suisun City for over 21 years, passionate about growing food and healthy eating, demonstration food forest keeper, Cassandra, was looking to replace her lawn with a more sustainable landscape that her family could eat from. This led to her apply to have her yard converted into a steady, water-retaining food source that would not only increase resilience, but catch the attention of lawn owners in her neighborhood and others driving by.

[Read full Daily Republic article here]

Site Details

Installation Date:

May 2018


900 square feet

Sun Exposure:

6-8 hours



Number of Swales:


Secondary Water:

Lawn Conversion


Laundry-to-Landscape Greywater System

Roofwater Diverted to Swales

Rain barrels

Total annual water impact:

80,175 gallons



Designer: Kathleen Huffman

Plant List:


Bearss Lime, Cherry, Honeycrisp apple, Nagami kumquat, Meyer lemon
Blueberry, California Lilac, Lavender, Mexican Bush Sage, Raspberry, Rosemary
Artichoke, Basil, Bee balm, Chard, Chocolate mint, Comfrey, Hibiscus, Holy basil, Oregano, Penstemon, Scabious, Tarragon, Tree collards
Nasturtium, Pot marigold, Strawberry, Thyme
Beets, Sunchokes, Turnip
Black-eyed Susan Vine, Tomato


I have always wanted to grow my own food.  When I saw an opportunity to apply for this program, I jumped at it. I needed just the opportunity that Sustainable Solano offered: the ability to pick my own vegetables and fruit without the worry of pesticides and a way for my family and the community to eat fresh and healthy foods through my food forest.

My experience during installation was smooth and very comfortable. The volunteers were very passionate and you got a feeling of care and commitment. Sustainable Backyard Program Manager, Nicole was there each step of the way and answered my questions and handled each installation day with ease.  I felt a closeness that was like family.  Their commitment to the project was amazing and am in deep gratitude for this experience. 

Vision for the Future:

My food forest is growing so fast and already have squash to cook and collards. I am so excited to say that I have food and will continue having food growing in the future.  As the economy changes and the cost of food increases, I am somewhat at ease that I can benefit from my garden.  I plan to add more vegetables and fruit to share my produce with the community.