January 2020 Newsletter

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"The hope lies in the fact that people don’t know what is going on. If we become aware, then change can happen."
- Greta Thunberg
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Sustainable Solano - January 2020

Neighbors gather as part of creating Vallejo's first Resilient Neighborhood.

What's Growing 2020?

Happy New Year! We hope you had a peaceful holiday break, and we're looking forward to moving into the new year with fresh energy for the important work ahead. We appreciate how many of you help us to do that work, whether as those who give their time as volunteers or those who have given through the donation link on our site or through Give Local Solano's 24-hour giving event. Every little bit helps us to bring programs to communities throughout the county.

This year, we will bring new gardens to public and private properties, creating an opportunity for water savings and fresh produce within communities and a chance for the public and students to learn sustainable landscaping skills hands-on. We will continue to build new educational programs for high school students and those already working in the industry. We will build consumer interest and knowledge about local food and connect our area farmers with institutional customers, including co-planning Bounty of the County, a family-friendly festival centered around the production, preparation and enjoyment of local food, wine and beer. We will connect with community members about their needs and challenges and what sort of solutions they are seeking. We will grow our efforts to reach beyond a single project to bring together communities that support and strengthen the connections between neighbors.

There are many ways you can be a part of supporting these projects. Fill out our Volunteer Interest Form here if you have time and skills to give. Donate through PayPal any time of year. Or, if you shop on Amazon, select Sustainable Solano as the nonprofit you support using Amazon Smile. Thank you for being the heart of what we do. We look forward to moving forward with you this year.

Upcoming Events


Wednesday, January 8

Land and Water Caretakers Certification Course
6-8 pm, Benicia


The Land and Water Caretakers Certification course starts Jan. 8 and runs through March 25! This program will give participants sustainable landscaping knowledge and skills through in-class lessons Wednesday nights and on-site hands-on instruction Saturday mornings in Benicia. Open to anyone 18 and older (you do not have to be a county resident), this is a great way to build sustainable landscaping knowledge, learn how to create earthworks and install greywater systems and gain business finance skills. Learn more here. Interested but haven't registered? It's not too late! Contact Workforce Development Manager Allison Nagel for details at 

Saturday, January 18

Sustainable Landscaping Resources Workshop
2-3 pm, Benicia Public Library, 150 East L St., Benicia


Benicia homeowners interested in learning more about sustainable landscaping opportunities can attend this informative session to learn about programs through Sustainable Solano and other organizations. These programs can help homeowners learn new ways to make their yards waterwise, edible and beautiful. Learn about what's available in Benicia and meet other like-minded homeowners. Come with your questions!


Saturday, January 25

Demonstration Food Forest Installation Workshop: Rainwater Capture and Earthworks
9:30 am-4 pm, Register for Address, Benicia


This is the first of three public, hands-on installation workshops to create a demonstration food forest garden in Benicia, creating an opportunity to learn about rainwater capture, simple greywater systems that reuse household water and how to plant and mulch for a waterwise garden that builds healthy soil and yields food. Learn more and register here!

Where to Find Us This Month


Jan. 7, Vacaville

Farming in the New Normal Workshop

This workshop will bring in experts, ag industry professionals and farmers to discuss climate and agriculture.

Jan. 22-25, Pacific Grove

EcoFarm Conference

We will attend this annual conference on farms and food systems, including "A Permaculture Collaborative: City Repair meets Social Forestry" pre-conference event.


Jan. 25-26, Santa Cruz

Lecure and workshop with Dr. Vandana Shiva

Dr. Vandana Shiva, a world-renowned scholar and activist on economic, food and gender justice, will speak and lead a workshop at UC Santa Cruz's Right Livelihood College.



CSA Spotlight: Real Good Fish

By: Sustainable Solano

Real Good Fish started as Local Catch Monterey in 2012 with the mission of bringing locally and sustainably sourced seafood to Central California. The company, which started working mostly out of a single van, now delivers to more than 1,600 individuals and families every week and supports local fishermen who use sustainable catch methods. [Read more...]

The Three R's and Gardening
By: Paula Pashby, Master Gardener, published in Under The Solano Sun

Being a gardener and always trying to be mindful of sustainable gardening, I wondered how the Three R's — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — could specifically apply to home and community gardens. Well, one day while carpooling to work with a friend, she gave me a peek at her garden. To my delight, I found that her garden is a great example of how to apply the Three R's to gardening! In the front yard, they enlisted the help of an organization called Sustainable Solano to transform the space into a beautiful and sustainable community garden.  [Read more...]


Moving American Agriculture to 'Net Zero'
By: Natural Sustainable Agriculture Coalition 

For American farmers, the writing is on the wall: climate crisis is no longer a distant threat, it is here. Farmers across the country have been on the frontlines of extreme weather due to climate change. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has been helping farmers adopt climate-smart practices for decades, and has released a new report of policy and practice recommendations based on the latest climate science. [Read more...]


ICYMI: On Garden Parties
By: Nam Nguyen, Demonstration Food Forest Keeper

Nam shared this heartfelt story about the relationships forged in Sustainable Solano's gardens before the holidays, so we wanted to make sure you had a chance to see it. She writes about those connections and "the belief that through earth care, human care, and fair share, we can sustain and fill each other up."  [Read more...]

Recipe Spotlight

As part of promoting Solano County's specialty crops, we will share a new delicious recipe each month that highlights the bounty of Solano County's local produce. Have a favorite recipe we should include? Share it with us at

Warm Indian Cabbage Salad
For January, we are sharing this delightful sauteed cabbage side dish. [Get the Recipe...]

February Preview

February 1, 8:30 am-3 pm, Demonstration Food Forest Installation Workshop: Greywater (Register for Address, Benicia)

This is the second of three public, hands-on installation workshops to create a demonstration food forest garden in Benicia, creating an opportunity to learn about rainwater capture, simple greywater systems that reuse household water and how to plant and mulch for a waterwise garden that builds healthy soil and yields food. Learn more and register here!

February 6, 5-8 pm, Solano Local Food System Alliance meeting

The Solano Local Food System Alliance will hold its quarterly meeting to review progress and set upcoming goals for its work. Find out more about the Alliance’s work here.

February 8, 9:30 am-4 pm, Demonstration Food Forest Installation Workshop: Understory and Drip (Register for Address, Benicia)

This is the third of three public, hands-on installation workshops to create a demonstration food forest garden in Benicia, creating an opportunity to learn about rainwater capture, simple greywater systems that reuse household water and how to plant and mulch for a waterwise garden that builds healthy soil and yields food. Learn more and register here!


February 15, 10 am-1 pm, Sustainable Garden Design Workshop (Register for Address, Vallejo)

Are you ready to start transforming your yard into a lush, productive, water-wise oasis? Unsure about how to get started?  You're not alone. That's why we've created the Sustainable Garden Design Workshop. This workshop will teach the design elements you need to get started on your yard transformation. Join a permaculture designer as he guides a homeowner through the design process and get ideas you can bring home to your own garden. Stay for a Q&A working lunch with the designer to begin applying what you’ve learned to your own space. Space will be limited, so register today!

February 22, 3-4:30 pm, Winter Fruit Tree Care at ‘Shalom’ Demonstration Food Forest (Register for Address, Vacaville)

Join us at Shalom Demonstration Food Forest garden in Vacaville where Kristina Fink from Lemuria Nursery will cover winter fruit tree care of deciduous fruit trees (apples, peach, pears, apricots, plums, etc). Kristina will cover the basics of tree selection, planting a bare-root fruit tree, soil amendments to produce an abundance of fruit, first through third year pruning to establish size and irrigation. She will also help to problem-solve some of the challenges of this newly established food forest garden and demonstrate the proper way of pruning these trees. Register here!


Stay Tuned!

We'll be announcing upcoming dates for cooking workshops, garden installations as well as for the next Vallejo Resilient Neighborhood! Check our calendar for upcoming workshops.

Partners and Community Member Events


Low Water Landscape Assistance Program

The Solano County Water Agency is offering assistance in replacing lawn/sod with a custom-designed low water use landscape. The program is open to participants with disabilities and low-income seniors who live in single-family homes, multifamily residences or mobile homes in Solano County. Learn more about this exciting new program here!


Solano County Water Awareness Video Contest

The Solano County Water Agency has launched its 2020 video contest, open to middle and high school students in the county. This year's challenge is to create "H2O Tunes" videos featuring water efficiency tips put to music. Learn more about the competition here. Entries will be accepted from Jan. 1 through April 2.

Farming in the New Normal: A workshop for growers on climate and agriculture
January 7, 8 am-4:30 pm, Ulatis Community Center, 1000 Ulatis Dr., Vacaville 
Experts, ag industry professionals and farmers to explore how farming operations can adapt and thrive in a new climate reality.

Citizen Science Volunteer Opportunity
January 10, 8:30 am-12:30 pm, Solano Land Trust
Get involved in science with Solano Land Trust. Staff will teach you all you need to know. This month, participants will assist with stunted blue oak monitoring and new caging. Check out other Solano Land Trust events this month here.

Garden Design Intensive
January 11, 10 am-4 pm, Grow a Pear Nursery, Vallejo
Are you wishing for the garden of your dreams but don’t even know where to start? That’s where Grow a Pear Nursery’s Garden Design Intensive comes in. Discuss site analysis, opportunities and constraints, conceptual diagrams, design development, phasing, budgets, planting schemes along with a lot more! Register here and learn about other workshops this month, such as a Year-Round Garden Planning Workshop.

Volunteer Planting Events
January 18, 9 am-12 pm, Lake Dalwigk, Vallejo
Solano Resource Conservation District will be installing native plants at two of its restoration sites this winter, including grass and sedge plug planting Jan. 18 at Lake Dalwigk in Vallejo, and planting native wildflowers, sedges, trees and shrubs around Pond C in Dixon on Jan. 25. Find out more about volunteering with Solano RCD here.


Want to engage? Be creative?
If you are a blogger, photographer, or just interested in volunteering, please join in! If you are interested supporting a sustainable future in Solano County, let's talk at 

Something to share? 
Newsletter deadlines are the 3rd Friday of the month. Please email to


Sustainable Solano's website has information about our exciting programs, upcoming events, and other community news.

Go to to check it out.

Copyright © 2020 Sustainable Solano, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Sustainable Solano
PO Box 1215
Benicia, CA 94510

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