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Success from the Ground Up: A Soil Panel Discussion for P-Patch Gardeners

Thursday, July 21, 2022 @ 6:00 pm 7:30 pm

Thursday, July 21, 2022
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Join us for a moderated panel discussion and learn about soil health from local urban farmers, gardeners and soil scientists. The panelists will share about their passions, the projects they’ve been working on, as well as tips & tricks they’ve found helpful in stewarding the soil. This educational session will include conversation sparked by questions from P-Patch gardeners, and there will be time for live Q & A. Submit questions for the panel here!

This session will be facilitated by Anita Waghani and Neli Jasuja. The panelists include Dr. Melanie Malone, Tony Dickey, Emily Bishton, Julie Bryan & Reingard Rieger. Learn more about them below!

*Please note that this event will be recorded and shared with P-Patch. Registration is only required if you plan to attend the live session. A zoom link will be emailed out before the class.


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Anita Waghani

Anita leads environmental stewardship and gardening programs, including water conservation, sustainable gardening education and the Soil and Water Stewardship (SWS) program with Tilth Alliance. Anita has a passion for community healing, regenerative farming, and urban forest restoration. Anita is passionate about building a diverse, inclusive and a caring community connected to the land.

Neli Jasuja

Neli manages Young Women Empowered (Y-WE)’s Nature Connections programs, focusing on Farming and Food Justice youth leadership at Marra Farm in South Park. She is passionate about working at the intersections of Environmental, Racial, and Social Justice within community, healing with the land and growing food with young people while disrupting racism and injustice within the food system.

Dr. Melanie Malone

Dr. Malone is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington, Bothell. Her research draws on critical physical geography to examine the biophysical, institutional, political and cultural dynamics of environmental challenges. In her current research, she explores the concentration levels of contamination and lack of health regulations in urban community gardens in soils and plants in Seattle, Washington, as well as the social and environmental justice concerns of gardeners in community garden spaces.

Tony Dickey

Tony Dickey began adopting permaculture practices after he moved to a 1/3 acre plot in West Seattle in the early 2010s. He transformed what was just another grass lot into a homestead that helps feed its three tenants, as well as many pollinators and other wildlife. As a farmer, Tony constantly seeks way to build and maintain soil. He regularly serves on the Pollinator, Education, Community Development and Site Development Teams with the Beacon Food Forest.

Emily Bishton

Emily Bishton is an environmental educator who has gardened organically for over 35 years. Since 1997, she has taught sustainable gardening and environmental education programs for children and adults throughout the Puget Sound region, and designed many public and private landscapes.  For the past 20 years, she has also volunteered in the Magnuson Children’s Garden Committee, helping fulfill its mission to grow a love of gardening and nature in all visitors.

Julie Bryan

Julie Bryan Is a Community Garden Coordinator for Seattle’s P-Patch Community Gardening Program.  She holds a B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Colorado and the Universidad de Costa Rica, Rodrigo Facio, as well as a Certificate of Ecological Horticulture from UC Santa Cruz. She has worked with gardening communities for over 40 years and with the P-Patch Program for 24 years.

Reingard Rieger

Reingard deeply enjoys teaching people about the how’s and why’s of composting and all benefits of good compost. She is a 2016 graduate of the Master Composter Sustainability Steward program and now leads and co-teaches this extensive volunteer training program for Tilth Alliance and Seattle Public Utilities.