February 2019 Newsletter

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"Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity"
- Ralph Bicknese

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Sustainable Solano - February 2019

Vallejo Demonstration Food Forests 

What's Growing 2019?


As the month of February continues to unfold with copious amounts of rain, we begin seeing plants revitalize and come to life. This once again reminds us that water is a precious resource that brings life to different ecosystems. If you find yourself curious and interested in ways that you can save water, we would like to invite you to self-guided tours of two of Vallejo's demonstration food forests.
If you are interested in creating vibrant gardens that use rainwater and reuse water from the home, visit our booth at the Annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival anytime from 10am to 12:30pm. Tours will promptly begin at 1pm so don't be late to register! Through these tours you will get to see established water-efficient gardens and learn about sustainable landscaping. Attending these tours is a wonderful opportunity to ask Vallejo homeowners and Sustainable Solano staff any questions or concerns that you might have about sustainable landscaping.
Additionally, during the festival, we will also be offering information about our new new program:
Resilient Neighborhoods! This program aims to drive the restoration of regenerative ecosystem services in urban landscape and improve the social and environmental resilience in communities. If you are interested in learning more about it, please stop by! We hope to see you there! 

Last, but certainly not least, we would also like to introduce our newest team member: 


Welcome to Our New Communications Manager!


We are beyond excited to introduce Allison Nagel! She will be tackling a role that will help Sustainable Solano expand its capacity to share the latest news, manage the resources it has to offer through the website and help tell Sustainable Solano's story. 

An experienced journalist and editor, Allison is excited to bring her skills to Sustainable Solano to bring more awareness to the community of what the organization has to offer among its interwoven initiatives. Allison is inspired by the power of people to create change within their lives and communities toward pursuing a more sustainable way of living.

Allison holds degrees in journalism and business, has built a career working for newspapers and other news publications and volunteers her time with local organizations. She is excited that her involvement with Sustainable Solano, which started with volunteering a few years ago, can now grow through the use of her professional skills for the organization.

Lastly, we are still seeking an experienced Business Manager to help support and grow our organizational capacity. The ideal candidate will have a passion for sustainability and community, exceptional finance, accounting and people skills, organizational and time management skills as well as nonprofit experience. If interested, please apply here

Upcoming Events


Thursday, February 7

Cultivating Right Livelihood

6pm-8pm, Green Hive Spaces, Vallejo

Join Sustainable Solano program managers Kassie and Nicole as they facilitate a conversation about the cultivating the right livelihood. This conversation will reflect material they learned during the Systems Change & the Next Economy workshop that they attended in Santa Cruz, where they embarked on an inner journey that reflects on right livelihood and explores the relationship between economics, ecology and people.  Register here.   


Saturday, February 9 

Vallejo Demonstration Food Forest Tour

10am-3pm, Must Register during the 24th Annual San Francisco Flyway Festival for Garden Locations, Vallejo


Participate in self-guided tours of two of Vallejo's private demonstration food forest gardens. During these tours you will see established and vibrant gardens that are watered by utilizing secondary water practices (laundry-to-landscape greywater system, in-ground rainwater retention, and diverted roof water), and learn how anyone can apply these simple, water-saving techniques to their own yards. To register, please visit our booth during the 24th Annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival, anytime between 10am-12:30pm. Tour sign-ups will end at 12:30pm and garden tours will be from 1pm-3pm. We hope to see you there!


Saturday, February 16

Urban Forest Community Planting Project - 2nd Installation 

9am-12pm, Mission Solano, 310 Beck Ave, Fairfield 

Join us for the second installation of Solano County's Urban Forest. We are converting 3.5 acres of Mission Solano Homeless Shelter grounds into a resilient, mixed-canopy urban forest. Learn about the benefits of Urban Forestry in helping reduce greenhouse gases through this hands-on community planting project. During this event we will be planting 15 bare-root fruit trees that will help increase access to healthy produce for Mission Solano residents. Make sure to register to be part of this family-friendly event! Register here.



Saturday, February 23 

Vacaville Tour & Community Workshop: Mangia! (Let's Eat!)

10am-4pm, Register for Address, Vacaville

Join us for an educational workshop of a unique Sustainable Solano-inspired demonstration food forest. During this hands-on workshop we will be digging a swale to divert roofwater, planting a fruit tree guild and learning about water-efficient front yard designs. Attending this workshop will have the added bonus of demonstrating how you can repurpose items that most would consider trash into creative and functioning works of art! Register here.


Saturday, February 23 

Walk the Talk Tours: The Foundations of Permaculture: Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share

2pm-3pm, Mission Solano, 310 Beck Ave, Fairfield

During this Walk the Talk Session, we will learn about permaculture principles and soil restoration techniques. This presentation will explain how using practices like sheet mulching, rainwater catchment, composting and the use of worms in the garden will help enrich and heal your soil for a healthier garden! Register here


Where to Find Us This Month:


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has" 

- Margaret Mead


February 22-23, Davis, CA 

California Small Farm Conference 

The California Small Farm Conference brings together farmers who are committed to sustaining California’s long history of small-scale and family farms and ranches that produce great food and sustain our state’s rural communities. This conference pulls together innovators, family farmers and experts in environmentally and economically transformative practices, and invites them to  interact with leaders in the field, to network and to learn about new trends and practices. 

February Blogs


EcoFarm: Looking at the Future of Farming

By: Elena Karoulina, Executive Director and Stephanie Oelsligle Jordan, Program Manager

While the topics of discussion were many, the key idea was clear: Feeding seven billion people is not a small task and agriculture is here to stay. The major question is, what kind of agriculture? We spent time reflecting on this and the consequences of using synthetic nitrogen introduced in the early 20th century, which allowed the production of massive amounts of “cheap” food, at the cost of a decrease in quality and nutritional density of this very food as well as the degradation of the planet. This overproduction of commodity crops for profit supported intensive population growth, but the quality of food did not ensure health for the majority of humanity. [Read more...]


Vallejo A&E Source: Whats for Dinner

By: Richard Freedman, Times Herald Reporter

This is the third season that Nunez-Hancock and her company, URwhatUeat has partnered with JFK Library and Sustainable Solano "and it's been really successful," Nunez-Hancock said late Tuesday afternoon. Nunez-Hancock said she gets a "pretty good diverse crowd," adding that Spanish-speaking residents are welcomed since the cook is bi-lingual. Though the audience that averages 25-35 people is skewed towards women, "we do get men," Nunez-Hancock said. The culinary arts instructor emphasized that attendees get to sample food and can snag not only free recipe booklets but perhaps some products as well with several major food purveyors donating items. [Read more...]


Sustainable Solano is looking for a Permanent Home
By: Elena Karoulina, Executive Director 


For our new office, we envision a safe and beautiful place where we can create and exhibit the solutions we’ve been teaching and demonstrating for two decades. These may include a permaculture garden, sustainable water techniques, solar energy and maybe even chickens. We need a shared workspace and a place to gather around a table for large team meetings. Ideally, this space would also serve as a place to teach public education classes, along with a separate area to house the ever-growing tools and equipment for our landscaping and cooking classes, promotional materials and office files. [Read more...]


March Preview


March 7, 6pm-8pm, Essential Knowledge for Transition (Green Hive Spaces, 425 Virginia Ave, Vallejo)

Few of us realized the extent to which the design of the money system, the economic system and the financial system constrains our choices and frustrates our desire to bring forth a more healthy and compassionate world. The purpose of this talk will be to provide an accessible understanding of money, the economy and investing. Together, we will identify the design flaws of those systems and find out how we can participate in their transformation. Register here. 

March 23, 2pm-3pm, Walk the Talk Workshop: Sheet Mulching 101 (Mission Solano, 310 Beck Ave, Fairfield)

Mulch! It suppresses weeds, retains moisture, prevents erosion, maintains nutrients, promotes soil life, controls pests...and looks nice! Would you like to learn how to mulch like a pro? Come and join us at our very first 'Walk The Talk Workshop: Sheet Mulching 101!'. We'll be having fun layering cardboard, compost, & woodchips to prepare for the expansion of our demonstration food forest! Register here.

Partners and Community Member Events


24th Annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival 

February 8-10, 9am-4pm, Mare Island Heritage Preserve, Vallejo

Come visit our booth during the 24th Annual San Francisco Bay Flyway Festival! During the duration of this three-day festival, join us for the presentation of our exciting new program: Resilient Neighborhoods! Then, on Saturday, February 9, from 10am-12:30pm stop by our booth to register for guided tours of two of Vallejo's demonstration food forests. Tours will promptly begin at 1pm, so don't be late! We hope you will join us at this fun, family-friendly event!


"But He Was Just a Farmer: How to Find and Add Contexts to the Story of Farmer Ancestor"
February  7, 1pm-4pm, Genealogy Society of Vallejo-Benicia, 734 Marin St, Vallejo
Join Madeline Yanov, whose specialty is American geneology. Through this talk you will learn how to find and add context to the story of your farmer ancestors. 


Designing Communities: Leadership in Architecture 

February 9, 1pm-2pm, Benicia-Vallejo American Association of University of America,200 Marintime Academy Drive-Classroom 102, Vallejo

Join the Benicia-Vallejo branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) as they co-host AAUW Fellow, Je’Nen Chastain. This event will discuss her dynamic research in business strategy and leadership development. Click here to register. 

Kids Hike: Love Birds Hike

February 11, 10am-12pm, Solano Land Trust, 3100 Lynch Canyon Rd, Vallejo 

Come join the next kids’ hike at Lynch Canyon Open Space Park, hosted by Solano Land Trust, for some fresh air, exercise and fun! During this hike, participants will observe resident, migration and over-wintering birds in the area.

Suisun City Community Clean Team

February 23, 8am-11am, Lori D. Wilson, Walters @ Bella Vista Drive, Suisun City

Residents are invited to join this 18-month beautification project led by Suisun City Mayor Lori Wilson. This event will serve hot coffee and donuts with light refreshments!

3rd Annual Solano County High School Student Art Show

February 24, Fairfield-Suisun City Virtual Arts Association, Solano Town Center Gallery, Fairfield

The Fairfield-Suisun City Visual Art Association invites all Solano County high school student artists to participate in the 2019 FSVAA Student Art Show. Art intake for the show is on February 24, from noon-5:00pm and the reception on March 2nd. For more information click here


Mary Farmar Elementary School Seeks Volunteers to Care for School Garden 

Friday Mornings, 901 Military West, Benicia
Mary Farmar Elementary School has a beautiful school garden. Students grow edible crops such as carrots, beets, peas, radishes, tomatoes, kale, fava beans and a variety of fruits while learning about sustainable food growth, integrated pest management, soil structure, science, math and citizenship. Volunteers are needed to work with 1st through 5th grade students to care for this garden. If you are available on Friday mornings, please consider volunteering so we can keep this valuable community resource going. 
If you would like more information please contact: Sheila Clyatt at



Community Conversations

Sustainable Solano's Conversations Initiative is expanding countywide to bring you inspirational, engaging and meaningful talks on sustainability topics you care about. These topics include global sustainability, our local economy, sustainable landscaping, waste, etc. What speakers would you like to hear speak on these topics? Any relevant films that you feel we should show? To share requests, thoughts and ideas please email: Visit our calendar for upcoming speaker events in your area.

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

Go to to check it out.

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

Copyright © 2019 Sustainable Solano, All rights reserved.

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

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