By Lauren Gucik and Michael Wedgley, Program Managers
Solano Gardens is growing!
This year, in addition to installing fruit and vegetable gardens, we also have resources to offer such as chickens, chicken coops, beehives and aquaponics kits to our communities. Our goal is to increase communities’ ability to grow food for themselves and their neighbors to improve our mental and physical health and foster abundance and collective power.
We have been supporting community gardens and personal home spaces with food forests and water-saving pollinator gardens for many years and this year we are able to expand our offerings. Our goal is to install 2-3 Hubs around the county. These Hubs would have a large amount of space to demonstrate multiple different growing methods, be able to host educational events and supplies giveaways, and have a kitchen space to prepare some of what is growing for the community as part of education, sharing healthy food, and creating social enterprises.
SuSol will also cutivate a satellite network of home growers, which can be anyone with a home garden. We’d like to provide you with the materials that fit your space, no matter how big or small, and curate classes and circles of knowledge-sharing among the satellites. We hope that everyone in that network can lend support to each other when it comes to growing your own food. We will be providing free plants, trees, chickens, bees, etc. for satellite gardens. Anyone interested in growing food at home can fill out an interest form here.
Solano Gardens will also host two internship tracks focused on sustainable Urban Agriculture and Youth Culinary Arts. Each will provide hands-on activities to practice the skills and concepts related to the topic, in addition to several online portions.
The Urban Agriculture track will focus on multiple ways of growing food and building valuable food production experience. They will learn plant needs, methods of planting and harvesting, crop planning, composting and market gardening. They will gain insight into permaculture, the Soil Food Web and square-foot gardening.
In the Culinary internship students will learn how to prepare fresh local food, explore concepts of food as medicine, and help us pilot a prepared food enterprise in the county. Interns will grow their comfort in the kitchen and learn basic food preparation skills while working together to cook in large batches. Interns will take food home after class to be shared with their families, and students will receive their food handler’s card through our coursework.
Additionally, our team will lead an inquiry throughout the county to see how to link farmers with underutilized agricultural land in the county to increase the amount of food grown locally that stays in Solano County and support young entrepreneurs in creating social enterprises that heal their communities.
The goal is to increase food production in Solano County through empowering communities with resources, materials, and opportunities to share skills and knowledge.
We’re Seeking Satellite Gardens & Hubs!
If you are interested in growing a garden, stewarding chickens or bees or an aquaponics kit, please fill out this interest form and join our network of satellite gardens.