A green thumb's guide to kid-friendly community gardens, farm camps and more
Seattle Tilth operates seven community gardens in the greater Seattle area, where kids can learn to grow food and care for living things. The gardens are open for visits from the public, and youth and families with children are encouraged to stop by for self-guided tours.
For children's classes, summer garden and farm camps and programs, visit seattletilth.org or call 206-633-0451, ext. 128.
Earth Steward Garden and Farm Tours for schools and youth groups include learning about edible plants, soil, critters and caring for the environment. They are offered at the Good Shepherd Center, in Wallingford in Seattle, Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands and Pickering Barn Garden in Issaquah.
Learn more about the community gardens:
Bradner Gardens Park – Enjoy the children's garden, fruit trees, annual and perennial vegetables, windmill, bee hives, a picnic area and covered gazebo; there's wheelchair access and bathrooms. 1730 Bradner Place S. in Seattle's Mt. Baker neighborhood.
Good Shepherd Center Children's Garden (and adult garden) – Visit the annual and perennial vegetables, sensory garden, animal trail and wildlife tunnel, giant kiwi vines, fruit trees, container garden demonstration, worm bins; playground and bathrooms are in adjoining park. 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N. in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood.
Pickering Barn – See the historic red barn, vegetable beds, grapes, fruit trees, green roofs, outdoor classroom. A picnic area and farmers market are nearby (Saturdays, April through October); free, drop-in "Family Saturdays in the Garden." 1730 10th Ave. N.W., Issaquah.
Rainier Beach Learning Garden – Find child-sized raised beds, burlap sack planters, native plant garden, worm bin and compost area, an outdoor classroom and sensory garden; playground and playfield are next door. 4800 S. Henderson St. behind South Shore School, Seattle.
Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands – This model of a working urban farm has five large greenhouses, huge strawberry and vegetable beds, giant blueberry bushes, chickens, native plants, a nature trail and compost area; it's best to visit Thursday through Saturday. 5513 S. Cloverdale St., Seattle.
Seattle Tilth Farm Works – The 39-acre site is used to provide farm business training and support with large greenhouses and production-scale row crops; there's a picnic area and fire pit, farm equipment, tractors and farm stand. 17601 S.E. Lake Moneysmith Road, Auburn.
Seattle Youth Garden Works Farm – It features production-scale row crops maintained by crew of homeless and underserved youth learning urban agriculture, drip irrigation; visit the picnic area, wetlands, nearby Union Bay nature trail and UW botanical display garden. 3501 N.E. 41st St. in Seattle's University District, next to the Center for Urban Horticulture.
To learn more about Seattle Tilth Gardens, visit seattletilth.org.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in April of 2014.