A Bit About Matt Shotwell, Owner
Mr. Matt Shotwell obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation and Intermodal Logistics at CSU Maritime (California Maritime Academy). Upon graduation, he became a Merchant Marine GS9/3rd Navigation Officer for the Department of Defense under the Military Sealift command branch of the Navy.
His next pursuits involved search and rescue swimmer training at Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, live ordnance handling, fire fighting school and chemical biological radiological defense officer training in New Jersey. He also pursued graduate maritime studies at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies.
After his government positions, Matt Shotwell made the transition to commercial maritime operations and started sailing on large container ships for Masters, Mates & Pilots out of the port of San Francisco and Oakland. Alaska, Japan, Korea, China, Hawaii and Los Angeles were common destinations.
On one of his last trips he learned both his beloved father and sister were diagnosed with cancer; his father with kidney cancer and his sister with Hodgkin’s Disease Lymphoma. Not wanting to miss any more quality time with his family, Matt came ashore.
Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, he began to research nutritional information with the hope that he would find something to help both his father and sister better manage the debilitating side effects of their chemotherapy. Discussions with experts as well as his personal research led him to a common
conclusion: growing and juicing your own organic fruits and vegetables could produce miraculous results in a variety of illnesses. In addition, the nutrition from these homegrown foods would resupply the necessary nutrients being depleted from chemo and the pharmaceuticals prescribed for pain and infection.
With a passion to farm and feed ignited, Matt saw an opportunity to feed those in his impoverished neighborhood by taking over blighted lots and turning them into community gardens. Matt then took the idea of the commons a step further by opening a public market space called Vallejo Gardens.
It was his hope to not only feed the people of Vallejo’s food desert wholesome produce, but also to give them a place to create opportunities for themselves. Due to these efforts, Matt and his partners were asked to be part of a think tank whose focus was to rebuild and revitalize the historic (but bankrupt) metropolis.
To this day, Matt continues to expand his guerilla gardening operation, which not only helps provide healthy food to those who cannot afford it, but gives the homeless of the city a place gain respectability by working in and providing security for these lovingly crafted garden oasis’.