Category Archives: Giving Garden

Three Greenhouses

The Ballard Sprouts, South Park’s Providence Regina House Food Bank, and a small back yard greenhouse grew more than ten thousand starts for Seattle’s Giving Gardens. 2017 should be a very good year.

Tomatoes ready for planting

Thank you to all of the volunteers who planted, nurtured, transplanted and transported these wonderful plants.

Seed Exchange offers free seeds: bring ’em, take ’em

King County Seed Lending LibaryThe King County Seed Lending Library hosts its Second Annual Seed Swap on January 31, 2015, which is National Seed Swap Day. Get your edible gardening started: share seeds of your favorite plants and get inspired to grow something new! The free swap will be held 1-4 pm at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Avenue N., Seattle, in Rooms 6 and 7 of the Blue Building.

Please bring seeds if you have them. They can be homegrown or store-bought — even partially used packets. Attendees aren’t required to bring seeds to take them, but are asked to limit what they take in order for all to enjoy the swap.

Workshops will offer education on saving and cleaning seeds. Speakers include KCSLL Co-director and Urban Food Warrior Caitlin Moore; author Bill Thorness (Edible Heirlooms, Cool Season Gardener); and author and educator Lisa Taylor (Your Farm in the City, Maritime Northwest Garden Guide).

Learn about the library’s newest branch: the Phinney Neighborhood Association! The PNA has agreed to host the seed collection in its popular Tool Library. Starting in February, seeds can be “checked out” during the Tool Library’s regular hours.

For more information, see

Join Seattle’s Giving Garden Network leadership team

Seattle’s Giving Garden Network is entirely volunteer-run, and as such is always looking for people to step up and take leadership. The leadership team consists of individuals who each take on a specific task, and also commit to regular meetings, once a quarter, with the leadership team.

This is the first year SGGN is going to run this way, so part of what we need right now is a team committed to envisioning the future, and parsing out how best to set things up. Mariah Pepper, who used to work with the Giving Gardens through Lettuce Link, is working with SGGN to set up a leadership team, and will be facilitating this visioning process. The end result will be a Mission statement, a Vision statement, and a solid plan for how to manage logistics for the website, the Sprouts greenhouses, the current budget, and any future fundraising activities.

We will also be setting up expectations about how the leadership team will operate as a team. We’ll ask questions like “how do we make decisions,” “how do we deal with conflict,” and “how do we structure our meetings”. The intention is to have good communication so we can build up a strong network in our communities.

After this start-up process, each member of the leadership team will be expected to take on a specific task. These roles will be clearly defined, and not dependent on the particular people filling them. Of course, people will work together on particular projects, and some roles may be filled by more than one person. Some examples of roles are:

  • Web content editor
  • Webmaster
  • Outreach/recruitment
  • Greenhouse manager
  • Fundraising project lead

The exciting thing about getting to be part of a new venture like SGGN in its current form is that you get to help form the direction it goes in. The group will have a chance to talk through who is responsible for money raised and how to use it, how best to connect giving gardeners to each other, and how to leverage the network to grow even more produce for the food banks, community groups, and individuals who receive it.

This is also a commitment of time and energy. You can expect the following:

  • A 3-hour visioning session at the end of May
  • Significant email and/or phone contact while we define specific leadership tasks and recruit more team members through early July
  • Regular meetings every quarter beginning mid-July

If this sounds like something you want to do, please contact us at Please contact us by Friday, May 9th so we can schedule a meeting for mid-May.