Monday, April 25, 2011

Tacoma Community Garden Summit

We went to the 2nd annual Tacoma Community Garden Summit this past Saturday.  There was a great turnout, beautiful weather, lots of informative workshops, free food and free veggie starts.  We went last year on a whim not knowing anyone.  What a difference a year makes.  We ran into a number of familiar faces and several fellow members of the Orchard & Vine Community Garden.

Kristen McIvor, Community Garden Coordinator for Tacoma/Pierce County, did a fantastic job organizing this event.  Mayor Strickland announced that Tacoma is surpassing Seattle in the number of community gardens per capita.  Yay!  Also, Kathleen Merryman of the Tacoma News Tribune announced that the paper will feature a weekly community garden column this summer.  A different garden will be featured each week.  New gardens are being built this year.  Kristen said that ten are in the works.  Last year there was four, so momentum is growing.

Garden Art Workshop by Kate Pascal of Hilltop Artists and our own neighborhood

Vermiculture- Worm Composting

Lots of Red Wigglers

Accessible Gardening Demonstration by Pierce County Master Gardener Hal Meng

Andy Mordhorst founder of the Dan Mulholland Memorial Garden at the Manitou Community Center did a workshop on Trellising.  He repurposed the old playground swing set as a structure for growing pole peas and beans.

Lots of free starts for the "Plant an Extra Row" project of the Pierce County Gleaning Project.  The starts were donated by Tagro, L'Arche Farm, Tahoma Farms / Terra Organics and Bellarmine Prep 

Everyone got to take home some starts to grow for local food banks.

Terry and Bev, gardeners at Orchard & Vine Community Garden with their veggie starts.


  1. That sounds like such a fun event! How did you find out about it?

    I've told husband that I would love to turn our parking strip garden into a neighborhood garden where people can u-pick. He likes to grow, I like to share (much to his dismay).

  2. We found out about the event through Kristen because of our involvement with the community garden. The city of tacoma website had information about it and Kristen kind of had it listed on I'm not sure if the news tribune mentioned it. We don't get the paper.

    Last year, I only found out about the event because I happened to be reading a post about community gardens on and someone mentioned the summit in a comment. Then I googled to find the full event info. Not so easy, huh?

    I love the idea of a u-pick garden. We have the same dilemma about how much should we store vs. share. I wasted so much food the last two years, we might share more this year. :) Though, most people don't take us up on our offers of kale. Would you like some chive starts?