We are here to help you grow a healthy and successful garden without using pesticides and while protecting and enriching your soil, watering wisely, and managing garden waste sustainably.
Tilth Alliance offers free natural yard care information. We help you focus on gardening to enhance and protect habitat, garden safely where soil contamination is a concern; create compost; and grow chemical-free edible plants to enjoy. We also provide education and activities through natural yard care classes; Dirt Alert safe gardening practices; and grow culturally-relevant edible plant starts. Need to talk over plans or concerns for your garden? Contact the Garden Hotline.
Natural Yard Care Classes
We partner with local cities to provide natural gardening classes each spring and fall. Class topics include engaging content about pollinator gardening, growing lawns naturally, choosing the right plants for your garden, safe and healthy gardening practices, including native plants in your landscape, and more about sustainable gardening aimed at protecting our local natural resources. We offer an integrated class series that includes weekday evening presentations coupled with hands-on Saturday sessions. During the pandemic, we have been providing our classes online. To date, we have worked with the cities of Kirkland, Bothell and Shoreline and are looking forward to working with the City of Snoqualmie.
If you are interested in talking with us about offering classes in your area, please contact Laura Matter: (206) 633-0451 ext. 110.
We have worked with the Dirt Alert program to provide classes, educational events outreach, and bed builds, sponsored by Seattle and King County Public Health and the Washington State Department of Ecology. Dirt Alert provides health related educational resources, including about gardening activities, to residents affected by the Tacoma Smelter plume fallout in the Puget Sound area. In 2020 and 2021, we installed five raised beds in Southwest King County locations, coupled with educational signage for the public and offered classes at those sites providing information about safe gardening in contaminated soil.
Culturally-Relevant Edible Plant Starts
Many of the edible plant starts most desired by and familiar to refugee and immigrant communities are hard to find, hard to source seed for, or expensive to purchase. Through our work with community partners thoughout the King County area, we have been able to begin providing free plant starts to refugees, immigrants, low-income and senior residents who are often most at risk of food insecurity.
Recognizing the need for culturally-relevant plants in particular, we began sourcing seed and growing edible plant starts that were hand-picked by our community partners. We rely on donated seed from generous corporate partners for much of what we grow, sharing seeds with the public to encourage home food gardens. In order to grow harder to find starts, we now also purchase certain seeds to give our partners if we did not receive that variety through donations. Our plants are grown at Rainier Beach Urban Farm & Wetlands, our farm in Southeast Seattle.
We are in the process of growing this program. In 2022, our work will be supported by the Whole Cities Foundation, the City of Seattle’s Food Equity Fund and The Port of Seattle’s South King County Community Impact Fund. Seeds have been donated by High Mowing, Renee’s Garden Seed and Cornucopia, Kitizawa Seed, Osborne Seed and our local Home Depot store. We thank everyone for their support.
To learn more about our culturally-relevant plant starts program, please contact Laura Matter.