Serving with Bradner Gardens

Taryn Twite, Sophomore

Bradner garden is a 1.6-acre garden located in southeast Seattle. The lady who met us there was from a group called Seattle Tilth. She explained to us that this park was almost made into a housing development, but the surrounding community wouldn’t stand to see their park vanish. Many of the citizens drafted an initiative #42 called Protect Our Parks. Which basically means if the city takes away a park, the park will be given back (most likely in a different location) in equal amounts of land.

There is huge community involvement in Bradner garden. Citizens of Seattle can buy plots and tend to them year round. A requirement of that is also to put eight hours in a year to keeping up the rest of the garden. Basically, the park is a place where the community can grow fruits and vegetables to eat and enjoy. Seattle Tilth additionally holds classes on how to cook, plant, and tend to certain plants right at the garden.
As an AWOL group, we split up to form teams that did different tasks. One group cleared old plants from a small water channel, another group seeded Swiss chard for the upcoming growing season, and the last group weeded, put down compost, and laid coffee bags to prevent weed growth. After achieving those tasks everyone contributed with pruning of an apple tree, building a trellis for peas, and cooking a delicious green stir-fry for us to try! Everything in the garden stir-fry came from the garden!

I learned how growing a garden is sustainable. The land, weeds, and scraps of leaves can be reused into compost. Everything all goes in one big, happy, ecofriendly cycle. Mind you, everything is organic and done by hand so I learned all the hard work and knowledge that goes into gardening. One thing I learned is that a bacterium called Rhizobia form a symbiotic environment with snow peas!