Some fun facts about the Olivewood Team!

Ellyse Briand, Adult Nutrition Educator: My favorite fruit/veggie is garlic. I use it to flavor most savory dishes I make and it’s my favorite plant to grow!

Jeni Barajas, Garden Support Manager: My favorite fruit/veggie are Grapes! I love that I can eat them fresh, snack on them dried, or drink them fermented 😉

Leonard Vargas, Gardens and Facilities Manager: My favorite veggie is Radicchio!

Adan Teposte, Garden Support Staff: My favorite fruit/veggie are Fava Beans!

Angelica Gastelum, Schools Coordinator: My favorite fruit/veggie are Tomatoes because red is my favorite color and some people don’t know that they are fruit and not veggies! And they are so versatile.

Jacqueline Ante, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator: My favorite fruit/veggie is Zucchini because they are green and can be cooked in so many different ways. It can be part of a savory dish or a delicious dessert!

Rocina Lizarraga, Special Projects Coordinator: My favorite fruit/veggie is Mango for the flavor!

Patty Corona, Cooking for Salud® Coordinator: My favorite fruit/veggie is everything about Yams! The skin, color, taste, & texture; just put then in the oven until caramelized.


Rebecca Howat, Children’s Nutrition Educator: My favorite fruit/veggie depends on the season and because it’s fall, I’d say Kabocha squash. I love how versatile and delicious it can be. Roast it in the oven with a little salt & pepper – delicious! It’s so unexpectedly nourishing and colorful that I get excited every time I introduce it to kids at the garden. 

Taylor Garcia, Development Coordinator: My favorite fruit/veggie are Bananas and Plantains. Fried/baked sweet or savory plantains are my favorite comfort food!

Hope Zabronsky, Director of Programs: My favorite fruit/veggie is Pomegranate because the taste and color are amazing!

Jen Nation, Executive Director: My favorite fruit/veggie are Mushrooms because they are delicious, versatile, full of antioxidants, and can be used for every meal!


Claire Groebner, Director of Development: My favorite fruit/veggie is Garlic. It’s delicious, it’s versatile, and it’s a team player – doesn’t need the spotlight and it makes everything better!

Octavio Rodriguez, Garden Support Staff: My favorite fruit is Watermelon. When it is ripe, it has so much flavor. Could be eaten in cubed form or in slices.

Monica Lim, Account Coordinator: My favorite fruit/veggie is Jicama for the taste & texture. It also takes me back to my childhood at grandma’s house when my aunt would prepare a plate with Jicama, Cucumber & Oranges to share.