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What is The Garden Project?

The Garden Project is a community gardening, multimedia and documentary project. Our goal is to nurture a sense of community around urban agriculture in the neighborhoods and communities of central and south Seattle.

Over the course of ten months our project will engage several families from low income, working class and minority communities in the process of starting gardens in their yards or container gardens in their homes. The goal is to demonstrate how families of every size, economic background, living in homes of various sizes and types and juggling even the busiest schedules can have fun growing and consuming their own chemical-free produce.  Each family will cultivate a different variety of crops based on their health profile and what would make healthy additions to their current eating habits. The families will meet monthly as a group to discuss their successes, failures and what they are learning in a public forum.  These monthly meetings will also serve as public outreach for the project. At the meetings community members will have access to information about how they can start their own garden projects including free and low cost programs provided by local non-profit and government agencies. Our participating families will be encouraged to openly share their experiences and growing knowledge in support of their neighbors who express interest in starting their own gardens.

As the harvest comes in they will prepare delicious meals centered around what they have grown in and share them at a dinner party where all of the families garden coaches and community members will gather.

The entire process will be documented on video and a dvd series will be created for use as a part of a community outreach campaign to promote urban gardening as a useful tool for families to improve their quality of life. The outreach campaign will consist of a series of health, gardening and community building workshops conducted in conjunction with partner organizations.

Our Mission

The Garden Project is seeks to build community and promote urban gardening in poor and working class communities and neighborhoods lacking easy access to fresh, affordable produce. We want to raise awareness about diet and lifestyle related public health issues, and provide an additional resources for Seattle area poor and working-class families to manage their budgets through food cultivation.

As a coalition of community members, non-profit organizations and small businesses our goal is to address these issues in the following ways:

  1. Building community:
    • In mid-summer months of July and August the participating families will participate in a project “Garden Walk” designed to introduce new community members to the project and promote the various options for urban gardening available to community members.
    • At the end of the project each family will be required to take a portion of their harvest and donate it to a local shelter or food bank.
    • Following the completion of the garden season and the documentary finished videos will be used in association with our partner organizations in a series of community outreach workshops and seminars to promote, food security, healthy lifestyle choices, sustainable urban living and community building. The workshops will promote home and community gardening as one of many way communities can confront a host economic, health, social and environmental issues.
    • We are bringing families together to learn about urban gardening in public and private spaces. They will work with experienced urban gardeners who will coach them as the take on their individual projects.
    • As a group they will meet monthly in a public forum to discuss their successes, failures and what they are learning.  These monthly meetings will also serve as a public information forum. Community members not participating in the project can get information about how they can start their own garden projects including free and low cost programs provided by local non-profit and government agencies.
    • As they progress through the growing season and into the harvest they will use the fruits of their harvest to prepare a potluck meal that is open to the public.

  2. Promoting Urban Gardening
    • Seattle and greater King County have a thriving organic and urban gardening culture. Unfortunately access to the knowledge and resources about urban and organic gardening is lacking in the communities that could benefit from it most; namely poor and working-class communities of central and south Seattle. Our project directly engages these communities in an effort to promote the organic and urban gardening culture in these areas.

  3. Raising awareness about public health issues
    • Throughout the course of the project each family will have the opportunity to consult with a public health professional, a certified nutritionist and a personal chef.
    • In their health consultations they will gain valuable insight into how their current diet and lifestyle may be contributing to health risks and how they can use their garden projects to positively address these issues.
    • The nutritionist will help them understand nutritional value of the foods they are growing and suggest other crops they can grow.
    • The chef will helps them create delicious recipes that are in line with the suggestions offered by the two previous consultations.
  4. Providing resources for on-going budget lifestyle management
    To extend the reach of the project beyond the growing season The Garden Project will document the entire process on video and produce a series of entertaining, informative and instructional videos. The videos will:

    • Provide instructions and resources for beginning gardeners to start their own projects
    • Provide information about local organizations and governmental agencies that support urban gardening in the Seattle area and greater King County
    • Provide information about Seattle area p-patch projects and ways to get involved
    • Provide recipe ideas for healthier eating and living
    • Be available on line for free viewing to the public
    • Be available in dvd form. DVD will be available for sale to individuals and offered free to non-profit
      organizations, Seattle and King County public libraries, churches and schools.
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