Garden of Shalom
Food Forest Keepers: Tanisha & Nate
I grew up in the inner city with few opportunities of gardening except for every third weekend of each month, when I would go to my godparents’ home. My godfather did his gardening like clockwork every Saturday after breakfast. He’d grab his hat and gloves and I’d trot right behind him. It was my job to pick up all the fruit that had fallen from the trees. His job was picking leafy vegetables and protecting his crop. Spending time with him in the garden was peaceful, he’d listen to me talk about things that were going on at school or home with my siblings, adding very little to the conversation. In between me talking, he’d whistle. When our work was done outdoors, we’d head inside where my godmother would be waiting to complete the next phase – washing, picking, bagging and storing. To date, I still love to hear the snapping of fresh peas. For me the garden was a place of bonding, peace, fun and laughter — it was nourishment for the body and mind.
Shortly after moving to Fairfield, I looked out into the yard one day and began to reflect on my childhood memories of being in the garden and thought it would be a great idea for our family, community and for the children in my preschool program.
1500 square feet
Number of Swales:
Roofwater Diverted to Swales
Total annual water impact:
Designer: John Davenport
Apple (Fuji), Avocado (Little Cado), Cherry (Bing Lapins), Fig (Black Jack), Nectarine (Garden Delight), Peach (Fairtime), Plum (Satsuma), Pomegranate
Lavender, Mallow (Hibsicus), Rosemary, Sage (Cleveland), Sage (Culinary), Sage (Fruit Scented), Sage (Hot Lips)
Artichoke, Basil, Borage, CA Poppies, CA Wildflowers, Chamomile (German), Chard, Chives, Comfrey, Coyote Mint, Fava Beans, Fennel, Forget-me-nots, Hummingbird Mint (Coral Dwarf), Parsley (Flat Leaf), Red Clover, Sorrel (Red Veined), Spinach, Yarrow
Allysum, Diamondia, Lambs Ear, Strawberries, Thyme, Veronica (Speedwell)
Passion Fruit, Grapes (Seedless)
Working with Sustainable Solano was a great experience. The installation of the garden was amazing. I really enjoyed watching people whom I’d never met work with me and my family to dig and plant in Garden of Shalom. My vision of unity, community, and education was happening! The staff and volunteers were friendly and an absolute pleasure to work with. It was beautiful watching relationships form as we all gathered for the common cause of learning or expanding the permaculture community. We even had a volunteer donate plants. It was beautiful. The experience was much greater than I’d imagined.
Vision for the Future:
My vision for the garden is to create sustainability, build community, educate, and bring peace to everyone whose feet touch the pathways or who ingests any of the fruits and vegetables. I image in a few years there will be an abundance of fruits and vegetables growing, children will be walking around and through the garden with magnifying glasses discussing what insects and pollinators they see, drawing pictures, asking what a swale is, and trying to decide what to pick for lunch.