• 10-11:45 am Saturday, May 30
  • A live talk with permaculture expert Lydia Neilsen on water management practices and how to design landscapes to absorb water, support vegetation and contribute to the restoration of the global water cycle and climate stability. There will be time during the talk for audience questions.
  • Neilsen also will do a video tour of two Vallejo demonstration food forest gardens. The video will be shared with participants and the general public before her live talk.
  • Participants can join via Zoom by registering in advance here:

Sustainable Solano welcomes back permaculture expert Lydia Neilsen for a live Zoom talk May 30 on the wisdom of conserving and capturing water to heal the planet.

Neilsen will discuss water management practices and how to design landscapes to absorb water, support vegetation and contribute to the restoration of the global water cycle and climate stability. Through her business, Rehydrate the Earth, Neilsen works to address poor water management practices that have negatively affected the environment. She specializes in permaculture education, soil building, greywater, integrated poultry systems, water harvesting earthworks and productive water conserving landscapes, polyculture and efficient uses of limited space.

Neilsen’s talk is free for those who register. There will be time for questions throughout the talk. If more than 100 people register, those who are unable to join live will receive a link to the recorded talk afterward.

Sustainable Solano also is recording a video tour of two Vallejo demonstration food forest gardens with Neilsen that will be released in the days before her live talk. These gardens, created through Sustainable Solano’s Solano Sustainable Backyards program funded by the Solano County Water Agency, are waterwise, edible gardens that build soil, save water, support communities and provide habitat. The video will be shared publicly and sent in a link to those registered for the talk. Register for the talk here:

The event will be similar in format to the successful virtual demonstration food forest garden tour and talk with permaculture expert John Valenzuela in April. Learn more and watch the videos of the talk and tour here:


More on Lydia Neilsen

Lydia Neilsen from Rehydrate the Earth (Permaculture Education, Consultation and Design) and Vital Cycles (a year-long Permaculture Design and Personal Ecology Course co-taught with Anne Freiwald) will be leading this talk. Neilsen seeks to understand and respond to the land, both practically and intuitively, prioritizing the infiltration of water into the landscape in conjunction with the planting of trees and other perennial vegetation to moderate local temperatures and restore water cycles. She educates individuals and communities in the creation of stunning regenerative designs including do-it-yourself-scale earthworks for water infiltration, productive water conserving polyculture landscapes, tree guilds, Biodynamics, soil building, greywater and other Earth healing strategies. In addition to Rehydrate the Earth and Vital Cycles, Neilsen teaches as part of several Bay Area Permaculture Design Courses and is a certified Permaculture Educator through the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA).

Background on the Sustainable Backyards program:

The goal of our program is to introduce the concept and practice of permaculture to Solano County.

These gardens are designed using the basic permaculture ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. The food forest concept is based on groupings of plants that yield food or support the ecosystem of a healthy garden. They rely on secondary water such as rainwater retention and laundry-to-landscape greywater systems to conserve and keep water on-site.

Seven Benicia demonstration food forests were funded by Benicia Community Sustainability Commission in 2014-2016. The expansion of the program to all of Solano County is funded by Solano County Water Agency.

We are always looking for public and private sites around the county that can become new demonstration food forest gardens and would welcome any interested readers to fill out our interest form if they have a site we should consider.

About Sustainable Solano

Sustainable Solano is a countywide nonprofit organization that is dedicated to “Nurturing Initiatives for the Good of the Whole.” The organization brings together programs that support and sustain one another and the Solano County community. Initiatives include sustainable landscaping, local food, resilient neighborhoods, sustaining conversations and community gardens.

For more information, visit