Seattle Tilth offers free composting and container gardening classes in downtown parks

Seattle Tilth composting class in Victor Steinbrueck Park.

This summer, Seattle Tilth will teach apartment and condominium dwellers how to grow salads, herbs and vegetables in containers and how to compost food waste indoors or on balconies or patios in downtown parks. These classes provide new ideas and will help troubleshoot site challenges for new and experienced gardeners. Seattle Tilth garden experts will show innovative ways to grow food organically with limited space and reduce food waste for people who don’t have a yard or garden plot.

Classes are free thanks to funding from Seattle Parks and Recreation, Freeway Park Association and Pike Place Market. See the schedule by location below:

700 Seneca St., Seattle, WA 98101

Thursdays, noon–1:30 p.m.
June 18, Grow Salad in Containers
July 9, Herb Gardening in Containers
July 30, Fall and Winter Gardening in Containers

Thursdays, 5:30-7 p.m.
June 11, Grow Great Tomatoes in Containers
June 25, Composting for Apartment Dwellers
July 16, Companion Planting in Containers


2000 Western Ave., Seattle, WA 98121

Wednesdays, 5:30-7 p.m.
July 1, Summer Vegetable Gardening in Containers
July 15, Grow Salad in Containers
July 22, Organic Pest Control in the Garden
July 29, Companion Planting in Containers
Aug. 5, Herb Gardening in Containers
Aug. 12, Fall and Winter Gardening in Containers
Aug. 19, Grow Salad in Containers
Aug. 26, Fall and Winter Gardening in Containers
Sept. 2, Composting for Apartment Dwellers

About Seattle Tilth
Seattle Tilth inspires and educates people to safeguard our natural resources while building an equitable and sustainable local food system. Programs in Seattle and King County include hands-on classes for all ages in organic agriculture, cooking and nutrition, and environmental education. We also offer volunteer opportunities and community events.

For more information, please visit or call (206) 633-0451 ext. 128.




Seattle Parks and Seattle Tilth make healthy food accessible to all

Seattle Tilth instructor Veralea Swayne teaches Composting for Apartment Dwellers in Victor Steinbrueck Park.


It doesn’t matter whether you live in a studio, condo, dorm or house, Seattle Parks and Recreation wants to make sure more people have the opportunity to grow and eat healthy food.

For the past several years, Seattle Parks has partnered with Seattle Tilth to host free gardening classes in downtown parks. The classes range in subject, but many focus on apartment residents and teach people how to garden in small containers.

On Aug. 19, Veralea Swayne, a Seattle Tilth instructor, was teaching Composting for Apartment Dwellers in Victor Steinbrueck Park.

“I love being able to lead positive activities in our public spaces,” Swayne said. “People live downtown, work downtown, so it just makes sense to have classes downtown. It shows people they can grow their own food no matter where they live.”

Swayne has been teaching for three years and said the parks classes draw a variety of people including people who live on boats.

During the composting class, Swayne led the participants in constructing a worm bin that could easily be stored indoors mess-free.

“Worm castings are actually kind of magical,” Swayne said. “They’re a mild fertilizer that helps everything grow so much better.”

Seattle Parks concierge Stephen Wilson helped organize supplies for the composting class and said he enjoys the different groups that come into the parks to participate.

“These classes bring diverse people into the parks, and I love the lively, fun atmosphere,” Wilson said.

Brandon Neuhaus was one of the class participants. He lives in an apartment on Capitol Hill and said he’s recently become interested in growing his own food.

“I was researching classes and this sounded like an awesome opportunity,” Neuhaus said. “I love the idea of taking a class and having the backdrop be a park. It’s nice to be outdoors.”

Seattle Tilth hosts many free classes throughout the summer at Victor Steinbrueck Park and Freeway Park with support from Seattle Parks Center City Program Coordinator Adrienne Caver-Hall and funding from the Pike Place Market Foundation and the Freeway Park Association.

Seattle Tilth’s last class of the summer will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. in Victor Steinbrueck Park on Wednesday, Aug. 27 and will teach fall and wintering gardening in containers. To register, visit

Seattle Tilth is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire and educate people to safeguard our natural resources while building an equitable and sustainable local food system. For more information about their year-round programs and opportunities, please visit

Video Contest: Your Best Gardening Tips by 6/13

You’re an Expert ~ Share Your Tips!

Know great ways to save water? Are you a tomato-growing wizard? This is your chance to share your best gardening tips in a short video to win prizes and help your fellow gardeners!

Visit for more information, including prize categories.

  • Videos should not exceed 3 minutes in length.
  • All submissions due June 13.

Don’t know any gardening tips? Call the Garden Hotline now to ask us (206) 633-0224 or email us.

The Garden Hotline offers individualized solutions to garden problems that are practical, safe, effective, and natural. Our services are FREE to home gardeners and landscape professionals. We can help you reduce waste, conserve water and resources, and minimize chemical use while creating a vibrant landscape.