Whether you are a visitor, volunteer, member, participant, donor or friend, we think of you as an important part of our community. If you value what we do, we invite you to join us by supporting our work.
This fall, we’re asking Seattle Tilth friends to Lend a Hand to support our educational programs that benefit the entire community. Read on for short stories about members of the Seattle Tilth community and their experiences helping to build a healthy and sustainable local food system for all.
- Lend a hand – help Tristan gain employment and life skills with Seattle Youth Garden Works.
- Lend a hand – help Karla grow her new small farm business with Seattle Tilth Farm Works.
- Lend a hand – help Shelby feed her family fresh food with Just Garden.
- Lend a hand – help Ramone & Oxani learn about the environment with our children’s education program.
- Lend a hand – support Lily’s after-school cooking club, where they build cooking skills and empowerment in Community Kitchens Northwest.
Lend a hand – support Lily’s after-school cooking club, where they build cooking skills and empowerment in Community Kitchens Northwest.
Lily is a student at Rainier Beach High School who comes to our Community Kitchens Northwest cooking club every week, along with her friends. They love to bake and try new recipes. The students are culturally very diverse — many are immigrants or children of immigrants, primarily from Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Each week, students select food based on their different cultural traditions. At our last cooking club, we focused on Southeast Asia and made lemongrass salmon, tofu summer rolls with peanut sauce and a vegetable slaw. They have all advanced their skills so that now they are making complex recipes as well as creating healthy, balanced meals. Lily and other students in the cooking club tell us enthusiastically that they are making foods at home that they’ve learned in cooking club.
Before the club sits down to eat during each cooking club session, students say one thing they are thankful for. “I am thankful for cooking club because I get to meet new friends and eat good food” is a common sentiment shared by many.
Seattle Tilth’s Community Kitchens Northwest program is reviving a culture of scratch cooking and healthy eating by bringing people together to cook and share meals. In addition to school cooking clubs, we also host community dinners, support a network of community kitchen programs and offer trainings for school cooks and daycare providers. Our goal is to empower people with the tools they need to eat well every day — by sharing cooking skills, nutrition knowledge and food traditions. Community Kitchens Northwest is part of our greater effort to provide cooking and nutrition education in our region.
Make a donation today to so teens like Lily and her friends can have cooking and nutrition education. Thanks for lending a hand!
$75 covers the cost of ingredients for one high school cooking club session for up to 25 students
$150 provides ten color photo cookbooks for program participants
$225 funds a nutrition workshop with hands-on cooking for a class of high school students
$500 pays for “Farm to Table” training for ten childcare professionals so that they can identify key issues that influence food equity, communicate the message of healthy eating to kids and families, and learn to prepare kid friendly recipes using fresh ingredients.
Lend a hand – help Ramone and Oxani learn about the environment.
Oxani and Ramone are students at neighborhood schools that visit Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands. At this natural oasis in the middle of an urban neighborhood, kids from tots to 12th graders visit the wetlands and learn how it functions. They participate in restoring the wetlands habitat and monitoring water quality. From these experiences, they see first-hand how our waterways are all connected and learn how they can prevent pollutants from entering Puget Sound and find other ways to take care of the environment,
“Because this planet might be extinct if people keep doing terrible things, we might be extinct, too,” says Oxani.
Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands is Seattle’s largest urban farm and environmental education center. Located on seven acres in the heart of one of our nation’s most diverse neighborhoods, Rainier Beach Urban Farm is a welcoming community gathering place where people from different ages and backgrounds participate in growing food organically while protecting the environment and supplying fresh food for the community.
$75 provides seeds for a season at one of our two children’s learning gardens
$150 pays for supplies in mobile classroom education kits we use when providing garden education in community schools
$225 would help one low-income child attend a week of Seattle Tilth summer garden camp
$500 helps provide scholarships to two teachers to attend our Garden Educator Workshop summer intensive. During this week-long training, educators gain knowledge and skills to introduce their students to sustainability and and manage a school garden program successfully.
Lend a hand – help Shelby feed her family fresh food.
Three years ago, Shelby joined our Just Garden program. She felt her family’s diet was not healthy and worried that her daughter’s health would suffer as a result. Ready to try a new approach, she signed up to receive a garden. Her family met the low income and geographic criteria, so the adventure began.
Seattle Tilth volunteers and staff showed up to help her family build a backyard garden – and they had a blast! Next, she took part in Just Garden’s year-long Gardener for Life class, which she cites as a transformative learning experience. She wanted to learn how to get the most out of her garden and practiced at home what she learned in class. In talking about Just Garden, Shelby says, “I get overwhelmed when I think about all the individuals that support our family and the way we eat now.”
Shelby currently grows about $700 worth of food every year. She happily shares fresh produce with friends, neighbors and folks at work. Her family is eating fresh food daily and they can feel the difference. She is thrilled to be the go-to person in her neighborhood on all things gardening and eating healthfully on a budget.
At Seattle Tilth, we believe that everyone has the right to have healthy, affordable food to eat. Our Just Garden program supports that right by empowering low-income families to grow their own food by building food gardens and providing garden education at an affordable rate and on a sliding scale. In the last four years we have built more than 100 gardens that together provide a steady source of fresh food for over 3,000 people each week!
Your gift makes it possible for Seattle Tilth to help more people like Shelby go from being recipients to being providers of food and knowledge in their communities. Thank you for lending a hand!
$75 provides seeds, young vegetable plants and our Maritime Northwest Garden Guide for one family
$150 funds an ADA accessible raised bed for a person with limited mobility
$225 pays for soil and building materials for three raised bed gardens
$500 covers the cost of site evaluation, garden design and a year of garden education for one participant
Lend a hand – help Karla grow her new small farm business.
Karla is a fifth generation farmer from Jalisco, Mexico, where she and her family operated a ranch raising pigs, chickens, goats, sheep and cows. Prior to joining Seattle Tilth Farm Works in 2014, she had the drive and experience to become a farmer, but was unable to find land. For more than two years she and her husband searched in four different counties for a place to start their farm, with no luck. She now owns and operates Feliz Farm, where she raises heritage breed pigs on pasture using humane and organic practices. Karla visits the farm daily to feed her pigs, with help from her husband and two children. She’s passionate about her pigs. Karla explains, “Many people care that the animals are treated well and that their meat is healthy. That’s why we are doing this.” To buy pork from Karla, check out our pork CSA.
Seattle Tilth Farm Works is located in Auburn, WA and provides farm business training and support to immigrants, refugees and people with limited resources. Participants attend farm and business trainings, tour neighboring farm operations and gain hands-on experience growing and harvesting food using organic practices. Those who successfully complete the program can rent land, equipment and utilities at subsidized rates. Graduates receive market and distribution support in addition to opportunities for continuing education. Your gift supports the work of Seattle Tilth Farm Works to empower aspiring farmers by helping them overcome the barriers to success. Thank you for lending a hand!
$75 funds a training stipend for a new farmer to observe and shadow farm stand operations for one day
$150 provides a starter kit of hand tools for one farmer
$225 supports professional development for one farmer by covering the registration cost of the 2015 Tilth Producers Conference
$500 pays for commercial kitchen space and materials for intensive skill-building workshops covering topics like value added products and farm business development for 20 farmers
Lend a hand – help Tristan gain employment and life skills.
Tristan believes he has found the perfect job for himself working as a crew manager with Seattle Youth Garden Works. His employment as a teen has not always been easy. At a previous food service position, he was ridiculed by co-workers and eventually fired after coming out as transgender. On his very first day at Seattle Youth Garden Works, crew members treated Tristan with kindness and respect — he immediately felt like he belonged. Tristan aspires to study social justice because he wants to be a leader in creating change to build a better food system.
“After over two years with the crew, I can say that it is truly life-changing to grow something,” Tristan said. “But the thing that I’ve seen grow the most is me.”
At Seattle Youth Garden Works, homeless and at-risk youth ages 16-21 gain meaningful employment experience in urban agriculture. Young people from diverse backgrounds come together to grow and harvest produce and then sell it at weekly farmers markets. In the process they develop leadership skills and personal connections to the food system. This job training program emphasizes responsibility and growth. They participate in all aspects of the food system while gaining a range of employment and life skills. This program serves such a great need in our community that it has expanded to two farm sites, employing over 50 youth a year.
$75 provides 40 person crew with a healthy, balanced meal for two work days
$150 provides three crew members with needed rain gear
$225 provides two weeks of farm supplies that the youth learn to use to nourish their crops
$500 first aid CPR certification training for 16 youth