As kids we were always told not to play with our food. In my latest episode of Beyond The Vision, we take a look at Olivewood Gardens, a place that not only allows, but encourages you to play with your food. By providing an interactive learning experience on their 6.85 acre property, Olivewood empowers students and families to be healthier.

This National City gem teaches lessons not only in the garden, but in the kitchen, so that you can build environmental awareness learn the benefits of having a good quality diet while simultaneously being sustainable. Some of their hands on workshops include: sustainable agriculture, water conservation, recycling and composting. There is even an adult class called Cooking for Salud, which encourages parents to make the kitchen a healthy food phenomenon.

A wonderful group of volunteers serve the community as chefs, food professionals, master gardeners, scientists, college students, and educators to bring life back to the area.

Through their culinary courses offered to grades pre-k through highschool,  Olivewood Gardens, puts an emphasis on trying new foods, creating a more positive attitude for the students towards fruits and veggies.  As if that wasn’t enough, Olivewood also offers gardening classes, field trips, weekly tours, and weekend family days, along with meetings and luncheons for health- and sustainability-related companies and organizations. Some students visit three times a year to observe and experience all the different growing seasons.

They have numerous programs which include field trips and group visits, girl scout badge workshop, talls and smalls in the garden, teacher support, gardening classes, as well as cooking classes. There is something there for everyone to enjoy and learn from to keep you captivated the whole day!

One of my favorite things about Olivewood, being born and raised in National City, is their dedication to the local area. the rate of diabetes hospitalization and mortality is 2.3 times greater in National City than the county average and they are dedicated to educating with the intent to lower this rate and improve the lives of everyone who steps foot onto the gardens.

With over 46,000 visits since February of 2010, there is no doubt that Olivewood Gardens has made an enormous impact on society. The Gardens has plenty of events for all ages so be sure to get more information which can be found on their website at Thank you for tuning in!

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