Marcela Valladolid’s Lowe’s Designer Challenge Victory Nets $50,000 for Olivewood!

There’s never a dull moment around the garden.

The corn is growing high, squash vines tangle underfoot, the amaranth is vibrant hot-pink, sunflowers wave in the breeze, the school kids are on summer vacation, and as the garden changes and grows and flourishes, so does Olivewood. This week we announce officially the departure of our talented and dedicated Executive Director, Amy Carstensen, who has served Olivewood since our founding three years ago. Last week also marked the official departure of our tireless Education Coordinator, Sacha Dansky, who brilliantly transformed the Olivewood education program.

And yet even as these departures sadden us, the garden’s growth reminds us that Olivewood’s mission is perpetual and seasonless. Chef Kati, our new Program Coordinator Amy Hooker, and Gardener/Field Instructor Diego Duran are currently at Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, studying with Alice Water’s imaginative team, picking up the tips and tricks and inspiration that will lead Olivewood into our next year of growth under our new Executive Director, Healy Vigderson.

And today, thanks to Food Network’s Marcela Valladolid, winner of Lowe’s Designer Challenge, Olivewood steps into its future $50,000 richer! It’s an amazing acknowledgement of the garden’s impact on our National City neighbors, and of Marcela’s commitment to the border community where she lives.

Thank you, Lowe’s and Chef Marcela!