Sustainable West Seattle Forums To Feature Quarterly Themes: First Up Is Successful Gardening with Nature

COWSJoin us Monday, March 18, at South Seattle Community College’s Horticulture Center for a new approach to communtiy forums. Sustainable West Seattle is changing the way we conduct our monthly community forums.

For over 5 years SWS has had monthly meetings on the 3rd Mondays of the month to bring interested West Seattleites together over a variety of topics. Much has been learned and shared and many community alliances have been formed.

Now, a new concept is being unveiled to extend the conversations as well as put action into our forums.  Three-month themes with a variety of workshops in between each forum will give SWS a chance to bring about a more lasting legacy to our forums. Each quarterly theme also will culminate in a permanent offering to the community in the form of a project accomplished or a new service initiated.

A very timely first effort will be the Spring quarterly theme of Successful Gardening with Nature. Starting with the first forum on soil building, experts from SWS will share their secrets for the foundation of successful gardening.

The first Successful Gardening with Nature forum will take place this Monday, March 18th  at 6:00 pm at the West Seattle Community Orchard located in the north end of South Seattle Community College near the Horticulture Classrooms. This new hands-on style of learning will demonstrate the process of creating garden beds that sustain fertilizer and water as well as keeping weeds at bay. This portion will be followed by aQuestion-and-Answer session and the movie “Permaculture Soils” by Geoff Lawton in the SSCC LHO classroom 2.

Several workshops at the Community Orchard will follow in coming days. The West Seattle Tool Library will also be hosting a Fixers Collective March 21st 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, offering a chance for local gardeners to sharpen their tools and repair wheel barrows. With parts, tools and experts at the ready, the WS Tool Library would request a donation of $5 for members and $10 for the public.

The April forum will be on garden planning. April’s subjects will include the selection of crops, what different plants require, sister planting for beneficial reasons and pest control and will answer the question, what does a tomato need that a cucumber doesn’t want?

The final forum in the series, in May, will be a one-day garden creation to benefit a yet to be determined community group, school or church. You can nominate a spot in need of a garden by logging onto and leaving a comment on our website or at the end of this article.

1 reply
  1. Carolyn Stauffer
    Carolyn Stauffer says:

    I’d like to nominate the Highland Park Improvement Club on 12th and Holden, it is a very active and engaged community group in the Highland Park and Riverview community. They also team up with HPAC, which is more of the activist wing that is concerned with getting information out to the community (I am the chair of that group). Our monthly meetings typically have 20-25 people depending on the topic, and we’ve been having a lot of discussions about sustainable approaches to gardens and community. HPIC recently received a King County grant through Sustainable Seattle for a raingarden and cistern on site as part of a Rainwise demonstration and educational component for the community. Plans are currently underway for an install by June 1, followed by a neighborhood garden tour. In discussions with the community and contractor, we’ve come up with a “master plan” of sorts that includes areas on site that we want to have gardens but are not part of this phase of “greening” the property. The property as it exists is a nondescript building on an asphalt parking lot. HPIC would be an awesome spot for your “legacy garden” project and I am happy to discuss the site further if it seems like a viable project to you too. We have one section in which we envision a “habitat border” garden along the entire property, one area in which we are interested in removing more asphalt and replacing it with porous pavers, and a third area that would be along the Right of Way, which currently is covered in asphalt. All three are great, highly visible locations for demonstration areas for sustainable garden techniques and inspiration for the surrounding neighborhood and community for years to come. I am happy to meet with you to discuss the site and what we are up to. Thank you for your consideration!


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