Johson Garden Re-Dedication

The Johnson Ranch Garden Re-dedication is now written into the noble history of First Christian Church Vallejo. Sultry, smoke-tainted air did not deter 25 enthusiastic FCC members and guests present at the August 22, 2020 event from delighting in the lush witness to faith, persistence and sweat-equity on beautiful display. The garden renewal project that has evolved over many months is the result of a partnership between First Christian Church Vallejo and Sustainable Solano, a garden-based community development organization in Solano County. 

Completion of the project, in the works for nearly two years, was complicated by cautions related to our current COVID situation. Work groups were limited in size and, therefore, the site prep and planting took longer than originally planned. The result is very gratifying. Already an abundant assortment of fresh organic produce has been donated to community food programs. The harvest is on-going. This garden is an essential element of the culture of First Christian Church.  

Pastor Christy opened the re-dedication program with a welcome and prayer. Carl Cordes related the history of the garden, the legacy of Lyston and Louise Johnson and their passion for alleviating hunger, and the 2009 Disciples Miracle Day volunteer effort that constructed the original garden boxes. Allison Mezzera reported on the partnership with Sustainable Solano. Shannon Kitchens lifted up the vision and mission of the garden as a source of community connection and nutrition support in our neighborhood and City. Gabriela Estrada, Sustainable Solano Project Manager, and Garden Designer Scott Dodson led a tour of the garden, describing the water-wise construction and purposeful plant selection. Suzanne Awalt invited those present to participate responsively in a Dedication Litany that focused on gratitude for the land, the toil, and the faithfulness to vision that brought the garden to life as a sustainable source of nutrition, and the daily work of farmers and agricultural workers who produce our food and care for the land.  Boxes and buckets bursting with freshly-harvested pumpkins, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, squash, tomatoes and chard were set out for guests to take home with them. Amador Street Hope Center also received some of the produce.   

The Garden Committee members are Allison Mezzera, Carl Cordes, Shannon Kitchens, Glenda Goode, Jeanne Cordes, and Suzanne Awalt. We especially thank Allison and Carl for their leadership and faithfulness to the garden ministry. Come enjoy the garden! It’s harvest time!