About the Garden
Established June 9, 2010
Development of the Goat Hill Giving Garden was an employee-driven project supported by Executive Dow Constantine. In 2009, several King County employees with extensive edible-gardening experience proposed building raised beds on a vacant plot of land in downtown Seattle - a plot that may some day become a new building. Employees worked with the community to salvage materials, using Freecycle, Craig's List, local vendors and King County's own Transit and Department of Natural Resources and Parks.
With the help of Community Corrections teams, in one day nine raised beds were built, ten round planters were dug into the ground, all were filled with donated compost and seeds and starts were planted. A few days later, on June 9, 2010, the Goat Hill Giving Garden was dedicated by Executive Constantine and King County Councilman Larry Phillips, planting the first cucumber starts. In the first year, the garden generated over 250 pounds of produce, donated to the Pike Market Senior Center and Downtown Food Bank.
It's not just a "giving garden." The Goat Hill Giving Garden is a demonstration plot for employees, showing first-hand how organic fruits and vegetables can be grown in limited space with limited resources. Expert gardners offer classes to their peers for free. We've had many reports of employees successfully growing lettuce, kale, chard and other veggies at home thanks to the education they recieve at the garden. Volunteers from County and surrounding buildings volunteer their lunch times to water and tend the garden, managing stress with a change of scenery and making informal connections for garden tip and recipes. Master Gardeners and dirt newbies alike are getting their hands dirty sowing seeds and weeding beds.
While we anticipated some produce would be "pre-harvested," we've had no issues with vandalism or destruction of property. And as far as we could tell, the only tomatoes that didn't make it to the Senior Center were a few that were quality tested by volunteer growers.
The Goat Hill Giving Garden is the first of its kind for King County. Ideas such as the Giving Garden succeed because of employee enthusiasm, dedication and support. And what a contribution it's making to our employee community and the Pike Market Senior Center. Sometimes, the best ideas just grow....
Volunteers are needed to tend the garden including watering, weeding, harvesting, etc. If you're interested in volunteering, send an email and let us know.
All volunteers must sign and return a waiver to participate in active gardening. Visitors to the site do not need to sign the waiver.