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:

FREEWAY PARK
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

 

VICTOR STEINBRUECK PARK
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 www.seattletilth.org or call (206) 633-0451 ext. 128.

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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 http://seattletilth.nonprofitsoapbox.com/-seattle-parks-downtown-seattle/event/388.

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 www.seattletilth.org.

Camp Long hosts ‘Great American Backyard Campout’


What better way to celebrate the start of summer than to go camping with family and neighbors less than a mile from where you live?

On Saturday, June 21, 67 people from 12 families, including 27 adults and 40 youth, did just that. Residents of Seattle Housing Authority’s nearby High Point Community, the families participated in a free overnight nature immersion experience, many of them visiting Camp Long and camping for the first time.

Singing around the campfire.

For the second year the Camp Long Environmental Learning Center partnered with National Wildlife Federation (NWF) for NWF’s annual national initiative the “Great American Backyard Campout,” which aims to get more families outside, even if it’s only in their own backyards.

Families stayed overnight in Camp Long cabins and participated in various activities including forest hikes, night walks, a traditional campfire and a forest stewardship activity.

After getting settled in their cabins on Saturday afternoon, families joined educational organizations in the Camp Long meadow behind the lodge for interactive learning stations.

Seattle Tilth provided gardening information and compost investigations to connect home recycling with the natural systems that exist in nature. Kids got to see live worms and other decomposers in action. Other learning stations included read-aloud multicultural nature stories with Seattle Public Library and making nature crafts from recycled materials with NWF volunteers.

Ranger Rick, NWF’s raccoon mascot, was a hit with the children.  Staff and volunteers had to pull kids off of him in order for more to climb on.

Following a buffet dinner provided by NWF and donations from local vendors, everyone headed to the community campfire circle to learn about building a safe campfire. The children eagerly swapped stories, and a Samoan family borrowed a naturalist’s ukulele to lead the group in song.

Before tucking into their cabins, there was naturalist-led stargazing and night hikes to search for owls and other nocturnal life. Candle luminaries graced the upper trails in a magical glow to illuminate the path for children back to their cabins.

Sunday morning after breakfast, families went on forest walks, learned about the health of Seattle’s forests and its wildlife and helped with forest restoration – pulling invasive ivy and putting mulch on newly planted native plants.

Everyone seemed to get a great dose of Vitamin N (nature activities) and enjoyed being outside together with their community.

Local mammal and bird specimens came to life as Seattle Parks Environmental Learning Center Volunteer Naturalists shared how these animals coexist with humans in the city.

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An excerpt from a letter sent by one of the Campout participants:

“…Our 9-year-old foster son, has never done anything like a campout before, and this was a HUGE experience for him. We watched him learn and grow in new ways in front of our eyes in 20 hours. This is a kid who whined about reading anything just weeks ago. Having the Seattle Public Library person there with books about nature (and totem poles, etc.) that were just right for him was PERFECT. He read books about animals in the field there. At bedtime, for the FIRST time, he said he’d like to stay up reading a little bit. Please share this with the library people.

“He was afraid of the dark, afraid of bats, etc., and so much of these fears dissolved on this trip because we got to pet little stuffed bats, he got to wake up in a safe cabin in the darkness without any light on. The structure provided by you and your people was so incredible, that there were only positive experiences. This weekend would have been incredibly hard to simulate in any other location, even at a campground because of the numbers of strangers there.

So thank you from the depths of our hearts.”

 

Live in an apartment? Grow food with Seattle Tilth!

Enjoy free classes on composting and container gardening at downtown parks this summer

This summer, Seattle Tilth will teach apartment and condominium dwellers how to grow salad greens, herbs and vegetables in containers and how to compost food waste indoors or on balconies or patios. Great for beginning and experienced gardeners, these classes provide new ideas and will help troubleshoot site challenges. 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.

New classes this year include, “Grow Great Tomatoes in Containers” and “Grow Edible & Ornamental Flowers in Containers.” Classes are free and sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation, Freeway Park Association and Pike Place Market. The schedule is as follows:

Free Classes by Location:

FREEWAY PARK
700 Seneca St., Seattle, WA 98101
Thursdays from noon–1:30 p.m.
June 19 Grow Great Tomatoes in Containers
July 10 Herb Gardening in Containers

Thursdays from 5:30–7 p.m.
June 26 Grow Salad in Containers

VICTOR STEINBRUECK PARK 2000 Western Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
Tuesdays from 5:30–7 p.m.
July 15 Composting for Apartment Dwellers
July 29 Grow Salad in Containers
Aug. 5 Herb Gardening in Containers
Aug. 19 Composting for Apartment Dwellers

Wednesdays from 5:30–7 p.m.
July 9 Summer Vegetable Gardening in Containers
July 23 Fall and Winter Gardening in Containers
Aug. 13 Grow Edible & Ornamental Flowers in Containers

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 environmental, farm, garden and cooking education, plus food distribution, volunteer opportunities and community events.

For more information, please visit www.seattletilth.org or call 206-633-0451 ext. 128.