Urban Farmers and Repurposed Building for Nonprofit Tenants


Tenants of urban chicken farming. Photo by Steven Walling via Flickr

Sometimes I miss living in Seattle. I used to teach at a converted building dedicated to nonprofit orgs and low-income artist housing. There are similar endeavors in many cities, but in Seattle it's everywhere and at the Good Shepherd Center, located a mile away from my former home, one of the tenants, Seattle Tilth, inspires and educates people to garden organically and consider urban chicken coops and beehives. My neighbors upstairs turned half our yard into a garden. Last week it held a workshop in Herbal Tea Gardening and on the 23rd it gives one on Composting for Apartment Dwellers. Take a look at the tenants inside this one building. Shouldn't every city have one?
Former Good Shepherd School turned home for nonprofits with organic garden in Seattle. Photo by JWalsh via Flickr

Good Shepherd Center tenants include a local holistic center and all of the following:

Cascade Harvest Coalition: builds a sustainable local food system by supporting farmers and consumers. Programs and activities address the local food and farm system, promotes preservation and protection of farmlands and resources, improves access to locally-produced food. Works with Puget Sound Fresh www.pugetsoundfresh.org consumer education program; Farm to Table, Washington FarmLink providing farmer education services, and others.

International Snow Leopard Trust: works to conserve the endangered snow leopard and the biological diversity of the snow leopard's wilderness habitat in central Asia through balanced approaches that consider needs of people and the environment. ISLT supports programs of research, monitoring, field conservation, training, technical assistance, and environmental education.

Washington Toxics Coalition: protects human health and the environment by preventing pollution. It advocates pollution-prevention based policies, supports sustainable and organic agriculture, promotes alternatives to pesticides and other toxic products. Works with farmers, farm workers, and local citizens concerned with securing a safe environment.

Washington Water Trails Association: works to build partnerships with public and private organizations to manage water trails, instills a strong stewardship ethic for the aquatic environment, and encourages the use of "blueways." The Cascadia Marine Trail provides resting sites for small hand-carried human-and wind-powered watercraft users on Puget Sound from Olympia to the Canadian border, and the Lakes-To-Lakes Water Trail.

Seattle Tilth: volunteer organization of gardeners interested in environmentally sound ways of growing edible and ornamental plants. It also administers the city's Community Compost Education Program. Committed to increasing urban self-reliance by sharing ideas and techniques in organic gardening, edible landscaping, composting and related subjects through its newsletter, demonstration garden and children's garden, workshops, lectures, tours, and referrals.


Photo by JWalsh via Flickr

Upcoming classes to assist the urban farmer include "Fall and Winter Container Herb Gardening" and "City Chicken 101" an intro to chicken husbandry in urban and suburban settings, and "Lawns to Lettuce" workshop. Seattle Tilth's Harvest Fair happens Saturday, September 12.

Seattle has become known as a world-class chicken destination and Seattle Tilth offers an annual Chicken Coop tour with resident chicken keepers. Also tours urban dwellers with goats, ducks and bees with a self-guided map through neighborhoods. Considered a "weird eco-habit" in Treehugger in 2005, is it still?

More on chicken coops and home gardens:
The Stealth Chicken Coop - Keeping Swine Flu and Zoning Officers
Another Kind of Chicken Coop
Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability: Victory Gardens are Back
18 Beautiful Edible Landscaping Plants

Tags: Composting | Farming | Gardening | Local Food