In 2015, KCD launched a new Community Agriculture program across King County. The ability to grow food within our urban core has become increasingly important as we face the impacts of amplified population density, climate and weather pattern changes and the threat of natural disasters which may temporarily cut off our food supply. Additionally, King County includes USDA-defined food insecure areas (see USDA Food Access Research Atlas for more information) and one in five children in King County are food insecure. Food insecurity is defined as reduced quality, variety and desirability of diet-with or with reduced food intake.
Offering expertise and resources to schools, individuals, non-profits, and churches, KCD is helping expand access to healthy food and teaching important lessons on soil health, water quality, habitat, and natural resource stewardship in the urban landscape.
Tools and Resources
KCD Community Agriculture Conservation Resource Guide
Schools, individuals, non-profits, and places of worship, can all expand access to healthy food and teach important natural resource stewardship in the urban landscape. Along with providing a much-needed source of healthy, locally-grown food, urban gardens provide a wide range of benefits including soil, air, and water quality improvement; stormwater management; increased aesthetics; education and recreational opportunities; beneficial pollinator and wildlife habitat; and an increased sense of belonging to a community. KCD’s Community Ag Conservation Resource Guide offers step-by-step guidance for establishing an urban garden to help communities turn underutilized space into a productive community asset.
KCD Community Agriculture Conservation Resource Guide (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
GroCo™ Compost Donations
GroCo™ compost is one part Loop® and three parts sawdust, composted for over a year. Loop® is a soil amendment made from the organic materials in our wastewater and is produced by King County. GroCo™ compost improves your soil and grows healthy plants. It is weed-seed-free, clean, and consistent. With a full suite of nutrients, compost made with Loop® has enriched Pacific Northwest landscapes since 1976.
Update: 2021 was the final year of providing GroCo™ compost. Don’t worry, we’ll be able to provide new Loop® compost products, hopefully in 2023!
FREE Soil Testing
KCD provides basic soil tests for residents and municipalities in our service area. KCD’s soil testing program covers commercial farms, pastures, parks, home yards, and community gardens. Interested in soil testing?
Community Agriculture Map
KCD’s Community Agriculture Map included basic information about garden sites to promote and improve soil health. KCD encourages every gardener and farmer within our service area to conduct free soil testing using our program. The online map was a way for existing and future community food projects to be identified and located by volunteers, donors, or other partners.
KCD can work to facilitate volunteer efforts to support community garden projects.