Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

Grace Garden — a fertile, food-producing  located at Davis United Methodist Church at 1620 Anderson Road — is ready to create a team to assume the leadership of this garden project, which quietly produces fruits, vegetables and sometimes flowers as well, which go to help feed the hungry of our community.

Longtime Grade Garden leaders Cid Barcellos and Gwen Oliver are ready to retire after 13 years. “We are ready to hand over the leadership, and just be gardeners,” Barcellos said. “We are looking for a team of two or three people to help guide the many volunteers (mostly UCD students) that work in our garden.” Barcellos joked that she’s actually “re-retiring,” since she came out of retirement some years back when Grace Garden was organized.

Barcellos added that “Our fruit trees and vegetable beds are organic and have produced thousands of pounds of vegetables and fruits. What do we do with our produce? We help feed the hungry of our community. We have donated to Davis Community Meals, Yolo Food Bank, Davis Meals on Wheels at the Davis Senior Center and other groups. In 2019 we harvested over 2700 pounds!”

In addition to the volunteers from UC Davis, Barcellos credited the participation of UCD Master Gardeners as well as various community volunteers for helping to make the garden a success.

Grace Garden began back in 2009, when volunteers began cultivating roughly five-eighths of an acre of what until then had been little-used land located behind the church buildings on the spacious Davis United Methodist campus (which was actually farmland for many decades before the church bought the property and built a sanctuary).

The garden was created to feed the hungry and also to help educate the community about gardening, the environment and sustainable practices through teaching and outreach. It is a faith-based project that draws outdoorsy participants from many different religious denominations and traditions.

Barcellos said that she and longtime colleague Gwen Oliver “want to share what we have learned (managing the garden), how we have completed projects… what worked and what didn’t. During this period of transition, we hope to slowly step aside as others step up to assume team leadership.

“Come out and visit us,” Barcellos said.  “Volunteer hours are Monday, Thursday, and Saturday 8:00-10:00am during the summer and 9-11 a.m. during the rest of the year. Volunteers are always welcome come out to work and to learn.”

For information about Grace Garden and volunteer opportunities, contact Cid Barcellos @

By senior