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Olivewood Gardens Rings in a New Year of Wellness with Staff Reflection Days

Post Date:02/16/2024 3:37 PM

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By: Alex Montoya, Development Coordinator at Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center

Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center in National City is dedicated to wellness, food access, and advocacy. Our organization brings students and other community members to our 8-acre farm and garden to learn about nutrition, wellness, and environmental sustainability. That all starts with making sure our 22 members of Olivewood’s staff are engaged in wellness first.

We began 2024 with three Staff Reflection Days, a time to reflect on who we are as individuals and how that impacts our goals for the year ahead. Meeting in the classic 1896-style Victorian house that serves as our teaching kitchen and meeting space hub building - itself a symbol of tranquility - our staff engaged in activities that taught one another more about what challenges and responsibilities each team member has. Loretta Turner of Loretta Turner Leadership also led us in an activity of telling your “origin story” - an experience that led us to working in wellness and social justice at Olivewood.

Since self-care also extends to community impact, one of the Staff Reflection mornings was spent at National City’s Kimball Park. Olivewood’s Patty Corona, Director of Kitchenista Engagement and Cooking for Salud, led an invigorating walk through the park. Team members discovered how Kimball Park includes an amphitheater, Little League baseball field, dog park, skate park, World War II memorial, artistic mural, pathway to the city library, and much more.

On a brisk, sunny day, this tour permeated wellness and civic pride. The week ended with a staff-wide Cooking Challenge, where four teams engaged in the spirit of collaboration and competition to produce a hearty four-course meal centered around a vegetable soup and included a scrumptious salad and delicious tofu pudding dessert. It's worth noting that one of our most significant strengths as a company is our ability to create food products that are both delicious and nutritious. Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center produces food that not only tastes great, but also has exceptional health benefits.

At Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, the activities, staff training, and mission are dedicated to the most important thing: wellness.

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