What we do.

Since 2014, CanDo volunteers have have grown over 24,000 lbs. of organic produce for CANV’s Napa Valley Food Bank. This is one of CanDo’s projects to ease food insecurity in Napa County. For more info, see Sharing Food.

We’ve completely updated our irrigation system, thanks to a generous grant from Community Projects Inc. Now we have much more control over which parts of our Food Bank garden we can water, when and for how long. There are fewer errant drips and no leaks, and it’s solar powered! We are using much less water and should see improved production. Did you know that ours is a no-till garden? That means we never rototill the soil. Why, you ask? Find out here.

The land where our Food Bank Garden is located, and all of our irrigation water, are donated by the good people at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Napa. We are beyond grateful for their generosity.

Join us in the garden!

Our current crew of dedicated volunteers numbers around 20. During the busy growing season we’re in the garden at least three days per week, enjoying this beautiful growing space, each other’s company, and the knowledge that we’re helping ease food insecurity in our valley. We encourage you to join us!

On one of the many beautiful days in Napa when we’re reminded of how lucky we are to live here, we provide the opportunity to spend the morning in CanDo’s beautiful Food Bank garden, with terrific people! Get in on the fun as we dig in the dirt, tell jokes, and help our community.

If you like the idea of being in a fabulous garden, working in the soil, enjoying nature and seeing the fruits of your labor helping our hungry neighbors, then this might be a great opportunity for you. We’ll especially need more help during peak summer harvest season. Come garden with us on Mon., Wed. or Sat., approx. 8:00am-10:30am.

We can support corporate or large groups wanting to do volunteer work. Just email us.

Send email to info@nvcando.org.

Are you a teacher?

Last September we hosted a class of 26 sixth graders from Browns Valley Elementary School. These terrific students picked green beans, corn, and pumpkins; they learned about photosynthesis, the structure of flowers, and they tasted fresh garden vegetables (Armenian cucumbers and Spanish Musica pole beans were a big hit!).

If you’re a teacher who’d like to apply for a FREE field trip to our garden, email karen@nvcando.org. First come, first served. It’s not too early to start planning!

CanDo Garden’s Pollinator Patch

Not only is it beautiful, it attracts lots of birds, bees, butterflies and other critters who help pollinate the nearby vegetables. In fact, our garden has been designated a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

While there is an official Pollinator Week each June, pollinators should be celebrated — let’s be honest — all year long. Why should we celebrate our pollinators? The simple truth is we can’t live without them. Pollination is an essential ecological process. Without pollinators, humans and wildlife wouldn’t have much to eat (and just imagine how dreary our gardens would be. Oh wait– what gardens?)

You can show your support in so many ways. Here are some ideas, courtesy of the National Wildlife Federation.

Bits & Pieces

Here’s a gardening website we’ve recently discovered that inspires us: A Way To Garden.com (notice it’s not called THE Way to Garden!)

Our garden is a place of beauty, and a refuge for wild critters, like this Western Fence Lizard.

Luckily, we don’t have deer snacking in our garden. But if you do, here’s an article (and podcast) that might help.

Here’s a quote from Dr. Sue Stuart-Smith, English psychiatrist and author of the powerful 2020 book, The Well-Gardened Mind: The Restorative Power of Nature:
“If you are not a gardener, it may seem strange to think that scrabbling about in the soil can be a source of existential meaning… but gardening gives rise to its own philosophy, and it is one that gets worked out in the flower beds.”

You might already know this, but it bears repeating: there are naturally-occurring anti-depressant microbes in soil!

Every spring, CanDo’s volunteer gardeners are delighted to be back in our Food Bank garden, harvesting lettuce and radishes and garlic, preparing for another bountiful summer growing season, and sometimes meditating as we pull weeds. Yes, it’s restorative!

Every year we grow lots of marigolds in our garden. Last year, we offered them to the City of Napa for their Dia de los Muertos celebration. City workers were delighted to harvest the vibrant blooms for use on the downtown altares.

Partners & Donors

  • Covenant Presbyterian Church
  • Napa Valley Food Bank
  • Master Gardeners of Napa County
  • Napa Recycling and Waste Services
  • Community Projects of Napa
  • Napa Valley Community Foundation
  • Home Depot
  • Central Valley Building Supply
  • Van Winden’s Garden Center and Landscaping Services
  • Mid City Nursery
  • Big Ranch Farms
  • Lone Oak Farms
  • Morningsun Herb Farm
  • St. John’s Lutheran Mission Farm
  • Wildlife Out
  • Studio 1515
  • Napa Community Foundation

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