Pinoleville Pomo Nation Success Story: Community Garden

The Wellness Team at Pinoleville Pomo Nation (PPN) works hard to improve access to healthy foods and beverages across their community. In Year 2 of the Good Health and Wellness grant, the Wellness Team implemented several activities to increase the number of places offering healthy food and beverages as well as policies in support of this work. This includes increasing capacity to produce food in the garden, providing consistent education and demonstration of how to gather and use traditional and healthy foods, improving Head Start’s food menus,  and drafting updates for the nutrition section of PPN’s Employee Wellness Policy.

Also in year 2, the garden expanded by getting the irrigation system installed. The irrigation is installed with drip lines for each of the garden beds and new spigots were installed around the garden and in the greenhouse – which means the community does not have to haul water for their plant starts. The system is connected to an existing rainwater catchment system and uses a solar pump and automatic timers to operate. An irrigation system is a major environmental improvement and increases the capacity to produce food consistently and without relying on daily hand watering.

Despite challenges over the previous year (including Covid-19, watering restrictions due to chronic droughts, and position vacancies) the Wellness Team at Pinoleville Pomo Nation has brought the community garden to life and created a space for community members to grow and eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

After the produce was harvested, the Wellness Team organized a total of 13 garden produce distributions across the community and integrated this produce into the menus of their Head Start program.

“One Head Start child was very excited to see their first earthworm.”

Other Successes to note:

  • More than 25 types of vegetables, herbs, and flowers were planted for use and distributed within the community.
  • The Wellness Team held 3 different workshops in the garden to increase community participation and knowledge around growing food. 
  • Workshops had 22 unique participants, including youth from Head Start.
  • Workshops had 22 unique participants, including youth from Head Start.
  • Garden planting kits were sent out to 45 Head Start families.