In this fast food take-out world, teaching kids to weed through making healthy choices and where food really comes from has never been more challenging. Luckily, we live in a region with bountiful community gardens plus a farm-load of classes and camps where sproutlings can harvest from learning the process. The fruit of your labor? Kids are more likely to eat the good stuff if they have a hand in growing it, so grab a shovel and dig into these fresh finds!

picardo farms facebook

photo: Picardo Farm P-patch Facebook page 

Inspire

Community Gardens
Most kids need little more than a stroll through a local community garden to unearth their inner-grower (and ours too). With over 80 delicious p-patch gardens located across Seattle including Eastlake, Cascade, and Picardo Farms to name a few, you won’t have trouble finding one to drool over as you collect ideas for your own. The gardens are open to the public to wander through and if you’re lucky you may bump into a seasoned grower willing to offer some helpful tips.

Have big toys and trampolines taken over your garden space? Then you should know p-patch plots are also available to rent. Individuals and collective groups, such as schools and youth organizations, can submit a request to the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods for a plot to grow their own fruits, vegetables and flowers. Annual fees for p-patch rentals include a $26 plot fee plus $12 per 100 square feet, with a typical plot size running 100-400 square feet. Most p-patches have wait-lists averaging 1-2 years and you will need to verify your continued interest annually.

Psst…check here for ways to get growing while you wait for an available plot.

P-patch Community Garden Program
700 5th Ave., Ste. 1700
Seattle, Wa 98124
206-684-0264
Online: seattle.gov/neighborhoods/p-patch-community-gardening

Seattle Tilth kids

photo: Seattle Tilth

Learn

Seattle Tilth
This go-to source for organic gardening plants smiles on budding botanists’ faces with a selection of summer camps and classes that transcend the garden variety. Mini-farmers as young as age one will get the dirt on all things tools, bugs, and flowers in short, 1-2 day camps. Week-long sessions for older kids cultivate an understanding of our food system, dig deep into garden ecology and inspire creative types to get G-artening. With camp locations in both the Wallingford and Rainier Beach areas, these are perfect if you live north or south of the city. Prices range from $25 to $275.

Good To Know: You can receive a discount on all classes and camps by purchasing a Seattle Tilth membership ($35/individual; $60/household).

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Seattle Tilth – Good Shepherd Center, Children’s Garden
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa 98103
206-633-0451
Online: seattletilth.org

Seattle Tilth – Rainier Beach Learning Garden
8802 Rainier Ave. S.
Seattle, Wa 98118

Seattle Tilth Kids 2

photo: Seattle Tilth

Magnuson Nature Programs
Want to motivate those potatoes off the couch and into the garden, like now? Then the time is ripe to discover what the Magnuson Nature Programs have to offer. Camps and classes for kids ages 2-12 uncover the mysteries of plants, pollinators, bugs, and more. Make it a family feast and sign up your aspiring chef for a garden fresh cooking class. The bonus? They will bring home the goodies they make to share with mom and dad. Prices range from $40 to $225.

Good To Know: Camps do fill quickly, so sign up early through the Seattle Parks and Recreation website.

Magnuson Nature Programs
7110 62nd Ave. N.E.
Seattle Wa 98115
206-684-7026
Online: magnusonnatureprograms.com

Seattle Farm School

photo: Seattle Farm School

Seattle Farm School
This all-things-by-hand school in West Seattle gets families growing in the right direction with a freshly bloomed children’s garden at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. You can expect to see monthly garden work parties for kiddos to discover the joys of growing, plus urban farm tours and a community picnic serving fresh-from-the-garden produce sprouting up this summer. With some of the garden’s juicy yields going to local food banks, kids will reap twice from what they sow. Sweet!

Seattle Farm School
Various locations in West Seattle
206-218-4948
Online: seattlefarmschool.com

Pacific Science Center Preschools Applications Due Feb. 16!

photo: Pacific Science Center

Pacific Science Center
If you’ve got a dirt devil (yes, a vacuum might be handy too) who loves all things muck and mud then we’ve found a summer camp just for you. PSC’s Dirt Detectives is where kiddos entering grades 1-2 can spend a week getting the scoop on everything from how soil nutrients impact food, to growing and compost. PSC also offers a farm-tastic crop to table camp for those entering grades 6-8 where daily field trips will take them on adventures to discover the origins of our food. Week-long sessions beginning in June are offered throughout the summer at either the Pacific Science Center or St. Thomas School in Medina. Prices range from $295 to $430.

Pacific Science Center
200 2nd Ave. N.
Seattle, Wa. 98109
206-443-2001
Online: pacificsciencecenter.org/Camps/summer

St. Thomas School
8300 N.E. 12th St.
Medina, Wa 98039

Sky Nursery Leprachaun Garden

photo: Sky Nursery

Sky Nursery Jr. Gardeners Club
This garden mecca of North Seattle has a free quarterly newsletter full of garden activities for mini-green-thumbs. You can also read up on Junior Garden Club activities held at the nursery including planting parties, soil classes, and garden craft events.

Sky Nursery
18528 Aurora Ave. N.
Shoreline, Wa 98133
206-546-4851
Online: skynursery.com/jr-gardeners

Do you have a favorite community garden in your neighborhood? Tell us about it in the Comments below.

— Rachael Brandon