Click here to view photos from the 2010 Healthy Behaviors Conference Site Visit to Olivewood Gardens. 

A ½ acre urban garden located in National City

olivewood_logoAt Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, children and families from the surrounding urban communities can explore connections between plants and history, science, art, literature, math, and nutrition.  Learning is centered within the context of a garden, where we grow and harvest our own fruits and vegetables for nutrition classes, visiting school groups, cooking demonstrations and workshops.


  • Provide local children and families exciting and informative garden-based nutrition education and academically connected experiential education.
  • Promote policy change in the areas of school meals and physical activity.
  • Introduce locally grown, fresh, and organic produce into school meals and snack programs.
  • Promote healthy eating not just at school, but also at home.
  • Promote community based awareness and civic engagement about land use policies that encourage healthy eating and active living.

Why garden and cook with kids?

Imagine a classroom where children not only learned their facts and figures, but also practiced patience, teamwork, and generosity.  In this place, students gain a sense of purpose, appreciation of nature, and practical skills like cooking and nurturing living things.  This is our classroom- the garden and the kitchen.  

  • Research shows critical links between personal health and a connection to nature.
  • Many children rarely connect with nature, leading to what author Richard Louv calls “Nature Deficit Disorder.”
  • Families are far removed from the source of their food and have less access to fresh produce leading to higher rates of childhood obesity and weight related diseases and mortality.