History of Diggin'
More gardens, more classes, more gathering in community… we invite you to imagine the possibilities! If you, your neighborhood, school, or other organization, would like to hear more about the benefits community gardening has to offer, we’ll be most happy to come out and share with you.
The old adage about perennial gardens, "the first year it sleeps, the second year it creeps, the third year it leaps" certainly applies to Diggin' Shoreline's leap in 2012.
Among the highlights of our 2012 season:
Diggin' began holding quarterly gardener gatherings on or near the Solstices and Equinox days. Our initial March Spring gathering was an introduction to Diggin' with slide show presentation and give-aways held at City Hall.
Spring also heralded Diggin's participation in the first Shoreline Eats 4 Health event, and in Earth Day at Central Market, where we distributed more than 600 kale plants propagated by board members Londa Jacques and John Ruby. April also marked the grand opening of the Twin Ponds community garden.
Our second annual Plant Sale Fundraiser took place in May with an expanded selection of certified organic, open-pollinated and GMO-free plant starts grown by Diggin' members held at Whidbey Island Bank in Richmond Beach.
The Summer Solstice was a marvelous event that attracted more than 25 folks to Jennifer Rotermund's urban farm, complete with Hawaiian blessing and music, and featuring the most exotic-looking grove of blooming, over-wintered Swiss Chard that was more than 6 feet tall!
The highlight of our year, administratively speaking, came in the Fall, when we received word that our 501(c) 3 non-profit status was official. Your donations are now tax-deductible!
Our first annual Fall Harvest potluck gathering was held on the Fall Equinox. Guests were encouraged to bring dishes that incorporated a home-grown ingredient. Plans are afoot to make our Fall gathering a recurring, ever-growing all-community harvest festival.
In late September, Diggin' held its first speaker event, Seed Saving with nationally known seed saver, Marisha Auerbach.
In October Meghan Peterka taught Diggin's first Right-of-Way gardening class, a prototype for a future series of "right ways to do a right-of-way" based on the City's right-of-way requirements.
Our Winter gathering was perhaps the most fun and relaxing of all. Afia and Dan Thielman welcomed 25 folks to their wildlife habitat garden for a session of outdoor tool sharpening led by Zeth Peterka, pinecone bird feeder making, and indoor hot cider, munchies, and storytelling.
Board elections were held in March. That was easy compared to the creative and comical brainstorming sessions that followed in an effort to come up with a permanent name for the organization. Pomegranate’s advice had been to have fun with the process, even to the point of suggesting something that began with Rutabaga.... Ultimately, we replaced Shoreline Community Gardening Group, with the more memorable Diggin’ Shoreline.
In April, Diggin' Shoreline participating in the City’s Earth Day celebration at Central Market, gave its first official PowerPoint presentation in conjunction with Ballinger Neighborhood Association, at a mini-grant workshop hosted jointly by the City of Shoreline, walking hopeful grant applicants through the steps of establishing a community garden in Shoreline with the aid of neighborhood or environmental mini-grant funding.
Rain City Rotary invited us to present at their May dinner meeting, and were excited to hear Rain City’s commitment to Diggin’s work in the community and their willingness to partner with us on future projects.
May 16, 2011 Diggin’ Shoreline held its first major fundraising event, Crazy About Tomatoes. Despite the cool, rainy Saturday morning, curious tomato growers, followed the signs to Calvin Presbyterian Church for certified organic and heirloom tomato plants grown by volunteers from seed. Those small of stature stout little tomato starts yielded beautiful fruits on nearly 5-foot tall plants in August.
On May 19, Diggin’ came to the aid of Shoreline Community College students who were holding a plant sale fundraiser, supplying veggie starts for the sale to replace student plants that had been attacked by a family of mice. Leftover plants were given to students for their gardens. We hope to work on future projects together with staff and students, including teaching gardening classes.
July featured another fundraiser, the sponsorship of an STP bike team. Diggin’ Shoreline first educational class, Waterwise Gardening taught at Ballinger garden, received much praise, and Diggin’ plans to teach the class for gardeners at other sites next season.
In July and August, Diggin’ Shoreline promoted community gardening at Shoreline SolarFest and Celebrate Shoreline
September brought conversations with City Staff from Shoreline Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services on partnering to create community gardens on city property, and the development of the Twin Ponds community garden project.
In early December, 2011, Diggin’ Shoreline held its second strategic planning retreat to create its goals for 2012 and beyond.
The Ballinger Neighborhood Community Garden opened officially to 23 gardeners on May 21, 2010 with local dignitaries, City Council members, neighbors and gardeners present.
Mid-year 2010, the Vineyard Church sought help with creating a giving garden on church property in the Parkwood neighborhood. Armed with Diggin’ Shoreline’s consulting and assurances, they developed the site. The giving garden sent 1,200 pounds of food to Hopelink in its first season.
In July, Diggin’ Shoreline (still operating under the temporary banner of Shoreline Community Gardening Group) went public with its new mission and vision with an information booth at Shoreline SolarFest.
In November, The Pomegranate Center led stakeholders in a two-day strategic planning retreat and a thoughtful, introspective assessment of who we are, how we imagined the future of the organization, and how we envisioned working together to achieve our aims.
A group of 20 interested citizens gathered to talk about community gardening in Shoreline. We came from different decades, lifestyles, experiences, cultures and politics. We shared one thing in common. Somewhere along the way, community gardening had touched our lives, and we shared that vision of bringing the experience to Shoreline residents.
In mid-2009, Ballinger Neighborhood Association approached us with a pilot project—leading the creation of a p-patch-style community garden on a scrap of hillside behind the Aldercrest Learning Resource Center. The debris-laden site boasted a fine stand of Himalayan blackberry and Scotch broom. Working alongside Ballinger neighbors from September 2009 through April 2010, the group helped clear the land, and surveyed and created an elevation drawing. We developed a project timeline to keep the project on schedule, provided design expertise, and wrote garden rules and regulations that would serve as the basis for templates for future garden sites. Cleanscapes provided waste containers for woody debris and garbage, and 20 Rain City Rotary members and their families helped strip the site of remaining blackberries, and distributed 20 yards of shredded leaves and wood chips. Dunn Lumber donated salvaged wood for bed frames.