Gardening and eating healthy, local, sustainable food go hand-in-hand. Our flourishing Napa local gardens show the extent of our green thumbs, something we take great pride in! These resources exist for you to grow your best food in a local and sustainable way. Use them to help your garden flourish and make your delicious meal even tastier!
What better way to foster this sustainable food way of life than to start your own home garden! Learn the basics of starting a garden and nurturing your growing crops from the experts listed below.
Grow Food at Home – This article features tips for how to start your own garden, no matter where you live. If you are not sure that at-home gardening is for you, this article may convince you to give it a try! Learn more.
The Napa County RCD’s Best Plants, Best Practices offers a guide to conservation planting for Napa County and beyond. Learn more.
Planet Natural Organic Gardening Resources – From composting to watering, get great tips and resources to make your organic garden safe and abundant. Click here to learn more.
Spring Harvest (UC Master Gardeners Napa County) – Not sure when to plant for a spring-time vegetable garden? This resource from the Master Gardeners suggests when to plant and includes harvest times for various popular spring vegetables. Learn more.
Seed Saving (UC Master Gardeners, Seed Savers Exchange)
Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. Learn more about the program here.
University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Urban Agriculture Urban agriculture can positively impact communities by improving access to healthy food, promoting community development, and creating jobs. If you’re interested in starting an urban farm, looking for information on how to raise backyard chickens or bees, laws, zoning and regulations that relate to urban agriculture, their website offers a variety of resources on small-scale production, including soil, planting, irrigation, pest management, and harvesting, and information on the business of farming, like how to market urban farm products. Learn more.
The University of California also has free information on food safety and home canning. Learn about it here.
UC Master Gardeners Composting Information/Workshop Schedule
Want more information on the best time to grow or pick your fruits & veggies? Check out the UC Master Gardeners of Napa’s Vegetable Planting Calendar here.
The School Garden Doctor
The mission of The School Garden Doctor is to empower teachers, schools, and communities to grow school gardens that enhance science education, nurture wellness, and foster environmental literacy. Developed and run by Carrie Strohl, this mission is based on her own experience as a garden and science educator and her dissertation research about cooking and gardening in schools. Learn more.
Expand your knowledge on when to grow certain foods and help foster a sustainable garden. This section provides information on seasonality of fruits and vegetables and the best time to grow your garden crops.
American Heart Association – Seasonal eating guide has great information and tips to help you and your family eat in-season all year round. For more information, click here to visit their website.
Check out CUESA’s (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) Seasonal Fruit & Vegetable Calendar here.
The Dictionary of Sustainable Management, A Project of the Presidio School of Management, is an open dictionary for business leaders and students of sustainability and business-related terms. The purpose is to help people better understand how sustainability concepts are creating new understandings in the worlds of business, government, and society. Anyone can comment on any definition and comments may be included in new editions. To learn more, click here.
Great Gardens Start with Worm Endings and Worm Endings Unlimited has plenty of resources to help you improve your composting skills. Learn about available equipment, how to use your kitchen scraps to feed those hungry worms and the best uses for the mulch produced from your composting, which is safe to use around kids and pets. To learn more, click here.
NapaRecycling.com has lots of resources for supporting sustainability. Get information on where to purchase organic compost or download printable recycling signs for your next party. Their handy “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Guide” has lots of valuable tips. Napa County business owners can also get information on composting food waste. For more information, click here to visit their website.
Accessing and eating fresh and local ingredients are, of course, big reasons why we grow home gardens! Learn about fun alternative options to cook your favorite meals in a healthier way, using foods you grow.
Agriculture in The Classroom (AITC) and Harvest of the Month (HOTM) Program Napa’s Agriculture in the Classroom received a three year grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture to bring fresh produce each month to Napa Valley Unified elementary school children. Each month students from 20 schools receive fresh local produce in tasting kits with nutritional information and recipes and a profile about the farmer the produce came from, to help students understand where their food comes from. School cafeterias feature the same local produce in their salad bars and volunteers deliver tasting kits to the classrooms. Harvest of the Month produce often includes: apples, pears, baby kale, snap peas, and broccoli. If you’re an NVUSD elementary school teacher and haven’t already signed up to receive a tasting kit, please email Elizabeth Skylar at firstname.lastname@example.org or give her a call at (707) 548-2341
Champions for Change Healthy Latino Recipes – This comprehensive, downloadable guide makes it easy to cook seasonal, healthy meals inspired by local ingredients that won’t break the bank and will have your family asking for seconds. Download it here.
Check out the “Eat Well Guide” to find local, sustainable, organic food. Whether you’re planning a trip or staying close to home, you can search the guide by keyword or zip code, just click here.
FoodSafety.gov – This is a great resource for information on how to make sure that your spring-time food choices are handled and prepared in a way that will keep your family healthy! Follow these tips to reduce the risk of food poisioning.
Time to Toss? Eliminate Guesswork on the Shelf Life of Foods – If you’ve ever wondered whether your cheese is safe or should be put out to pasture, this app can help you decide. The Is My Food Safe? App will help answer all of your food safety questions and reduce your risk of food poisoning. This ad-free app has many useful features including the Time to Toss? food storage guide, providing essential information to determine how long you can keep various food items. So whether you’re storing in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer, you can check the app to find the shelf life of your foods, and where they’ll stay fresh, longest. To learn more, click here.
“My Plate” from the USDA The goal of MyPlate is to get people to think about building a healthy plate at meal times, by emphasizing fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy groups. There’s also a Spanish-language version called MiPlato. In addition to healthy eating tips, their website also offers education tools and materials for teachers.