For the past 10 years, Michelle Angela has been a Behavioral Health Nurse at the Veterans Affairs office in Chico, CA. As an avid gardener herself, she was well aware of how fresh air, fresh produce, sunshine, and sharing community could help the Veterans she served. She teamed up with master gardener, Michael Cannon to offer the opportunity to experience these qualities to the Veterans at the clinic. Her dedication and passion for the work she does and the results she has seen truly is noted throughout the Veterans Affairs office, and she has been rewarded many times for her care and support.
Coming from a military family, she is honored to be able to contribute to those who have served this country, and to be supported by dedicated staff, volunteers, friends, and family.
Michael Cannon is one of the co-founders of the Veterans Garden Project in 2012. Although probably best known as a Chico area musician for the last 50 years, his passion for gardening and greenhouse management through his work growing plants for community plant giveaways, a nursery business (Butte Creek Nursery), and a deep respect for the service of veterans, led him to a partnership with Michelle Angela to create the idea of a Veterans Garden Project with the intent of providing veterans a means to a new mission, that of experiencing the joys and peace of gardening and camaraderie of other service members.
As an avid gardener, cook, and entrepreneur, Rosemary (aka Mama Rose) has spent years cultivating a relationship with food and its effects on health and well-being. Her experience as CEO of a small advertising agency, owner and operator of two local businesses, and her years of teaching, producing and hosting a food show on community radio, lead her to the VGP.
Having family who served in the military she witnessed first-hand what war and destruction can do to one’s spirit. Gardening is an avenue to help with so many aspects of re-entry for military men and women to their perspective communities. It is also a way for them to have camaraderie in a safe and positive environment. She is proud to serve in this capacity.
"The Dave", who served for the U.S. Army from 2004-2010. Dave's tour consisted of a deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq. Graduated Chico State in 2016 with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in crop science and horticulture. Raised in Salinas, Ca. and then Sacramento, before joining the Army as Airborne Infantry.
Along with his GI Bill/Work Study/Vocational Rehab at Chico State, the Veterans Garden Project's Greenhouse and Garden became a new endeavor for our vets.
Dave was our first employed veteran and brought his band of brothers with him.
We have now employed a dozen Iraq and Afghanistan OIF/OEF Veteran's with Work Study/ Vocational Rehab from Butte Community College and CSU Chico.
Growing up around agriculture in Northern California , Dane returned home from 6 years in the Air Force to continue his education at CSU Chico as a plant and soil science major. Spending years overseas, he wants to help his local community and connect with other veterans. Dane understands and encourages a healthy diet, active hobbies, all while promoting a connection to the earth. As Assistant Greenhouse Manager and devoted gardener, Dane aids in the Veterans Garden Project’s role in providing a stress free support group, a deeper relationship with plants and soil, and fresh, local food.
Steve is a father, gardener, veteran and avid reader. He raises a family on a half-acre of Chico’s suburban fringe, designing for personal and community resilience in an era of uncertainty. He grew up in the California Gold Country and served in the 436th OSS at Dover AFB. While he holds degrees in History and International Relations, he left a 12-year career in aviation to go back to school to study Agriculture and Ecology. He received a Permaculture Design Certificate from Practical Permaculture in 2017. He started working with the Veterans Garden Project to advance his ideal of “abundance through design” and connect with local veterans.