This August, Sustainable Solano celebrates the expansion of its Sustainable Backyard Program bringing inspirational speakers and free educational workshops and classes to Fairfield. The program will offer Fairfield homeowners passionate about sustainability and community resilience an opportunity to become “food forest keepers” of public demonstration gardens in exchange for a 5-year commitment of public tours and workshops (once or twice per calendar year on a mutually agreed upon schedule). Installations and tours are free and open to the public for a hands-on experience on how to grow food, save water and build community.

The application period begins August 15th and ends September 30th. Installations will take place on three separate weekend dates for each yard in the months of October and November.

Two Fairfield yards will be selected for conversion into edible forest gardens based on permaculture design principles complete with a laundry-to-landscape and rain water catchment system. Rain and secondary water from the laundry will be diverted to mulch-filled ditches, called swales, to slow down and absorb water into the soil using every drop to feed fruit trees, shrubs and plants. Highly visible front-yard lawns are preferred but other types of landscapes (up to 2,000 square feet) are welcome to apply. Households will be evaluated for suitability for a permaculture food forest and a laundry-to-landscape greywater system.

The installation of these demonstration food forests are sponsored by the Solano County Water Agency and are free of cost to selected homeowners. The significant annual water-saving impact of the already established demonstration food forests in Benicia private homes caught the attention of the Solano County Water Agency who supported the expansion of the program to greater Solano County resulting in two additional private demonstration gardens in Vallejo installed in March and April of 2017.

Suisun City and Vacaville residents interested in the program can experience a preview of what is to come to their cities in 2018 by attending these public installations and future workshops after these gardens are established.

Applicants must be available on installation dates and are encouraged to attend the volunteer training workshops offered to the public to learn more about the Sustainable Backyard program, basic permaculture design principles and wise water usage. Fairfield residents may download an application by going to or by contacting Sustainable Backyard Program Manager, Nicole Newell at

SuSol Celebrates its 25th Year with Milestone Event

This year marks a significant milestone for Sustainable Solano as we celebrate 25 years of fostering sustainability, resilience, and community well-being in Solano County. To commemorate this achievement, we invite you to join us Sept. 21 for an unforgettable evening in the picturesque Suisun Valley.

Bay Area Butterfly Festival Lands May 19

The Monarch Milkweed Project and the Vallejo People’s Garden are hosting the inaugural Bay Area Butterfly Festival on May 19!

2024 Benicia & Vallejo Demonstration Food Forest Garden Tour: April 27

SuSol’s annual tour of demonstration food forest gardens in Benicia and Vallejo returns on April 27 for its eighth year.

2024 Benicia & Vallejo Tour: Featured Gardens

Learn about the Vallejo and Benicia demonstration food forest gardens featured in this year’s tour on April 27!

Goodbye Grass

Tereasa Christopherson-Tso is working with Arts Benicia on an exhibit focused on water conservation. Tereasa reached out to SuSol and visited one of our demonstration food forests, where she beautifully captured the garden. She has given us permission to share her painting and artist statement, which we feel encapsulates why these gardens are so important.

Sustainable Landscaping, Lawn Removal on Water-Efficient Rebate Budget

Thanks to everyone who came to our class with Alana Mirror about how she transformed her lawn into an edible and native landscape, all within the budget of the Water-Efficient Rebate Program from the Solano County Water Agency. For resources on how you can make a sustainable transformation in your own backyard (and on a budget!), here’s a playlist of videos from the class and more.

Rebates for Residential Greywater Recycling

Ainslee Shuemake is a graduate student specializing in water resource management in UC Davis’ Environmental Policy and Management (EPM) Program and wrote this op-ed piece on the state’s proposed water conservation regulations. We wanted to share her insight with you and also let you know that we are currently looking for sites to host laundry-to-landscape educational workshops.

Garden Design Templates Simplify How To Start Your Sustainable Garden

These four templates can help you to design your garden at home.

Building Backyards (and Front Yards) of Hope

You may have met Alana at one of SuSol’s events and workshops, or seen some of her music videos or blog posts from those experiences. Here, she shares with us about her journey and talks about transforming her lawn to a sustainable landscape within the budget of the lawn conversion rebate she received.

Winter at the Pace of Nature

A reflection on how winter calls for the need for rest and renewal.

The Vision for a SuSol Education Center

Sustainable Solano has had a vision for a while now: To have an office space that serves as a place of education around the many things we teach about, such as sustainable landscaping, water capture and reuse; cooking with seasonal, sustainable local food; and building community resilience.

Gift of the Generations

Alana’s This Wonderful World project has highlighted the Pollinator Pathway garden installation with a series of three songs, as well as songs about the installation of Peace of Eden community garden at City Church Fairfield, a series on laundry-to-landscape greywater, and a series inspired by the Vallejo People’s Garden. This is her reflection and the last song in her spring series — it highlights community gardens through SuSol’s Solano Gardens program.

Sustainable Gardening Intern Reflections

The Sustainable Gardening internship was an opportunity for high school students to learn basic permaculture principles with a focus on waterwise gardening, and engage with community members while supporting community gardens. These three interns shared their reflections on the program with us, and we are excited to share them with you here with their permission.

2023 Vacaville Demonstration Food Forest Tour: Featured Gardens

Read about the Vacaville gardens that are featured on this year’s Vacaville Demonstration Food Forest Garden Tour on June 3!

2023 Fairfield & Suisun City Demonstration Food Forest Garden Tour & Healthy Local Food Showcase is May 6!

Join us for the Fairfield-Suisun City Demonstration Food Forest Tour and Celebrating Healthy Local Food: A Culinary and Garden Showcase on Saturday, May 6!

Interested in learning more about Fairfield or applying? Read the Memo Of Understanding or Download the Application!