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 cause disruptions to our food system, as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the ability of communities to grow their own food helps combat food insecurity in areas that have been historically cut off from land and resources. We are committed to focusing our resources on these historically underserved areas in South and East King County, as well as those furthest from opportunity.
We offer expertise and resources to community-based groups, including neighborhood and garden groups, faith-based organizations, non-profits, government entities, apartment complexes, and schools. KCD helps expand access to nourishing food while promoting natural resource stewardship in the urban landscape.
Tools and Resources
KCD Community Agriculture Conservation Resource Guide
Community groups, faith-based organizations, non-profits, schools and government entities can all expand access to healthy food while teaching important natural resource stewardship in the urban landscape. Along with providing a much-needed source of nourishing, 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 partners with Woodland Park Zoo to provide ZooDoo for free to community agriculture projects in the Spring. ZooDoo is a fully composted blend of animal manure and bedding that creates a nutrient rich and exotic compost, while diverting waste! This weed-seed-free, clean, and consistent product helps to improve soil and grow healthy plants. Thank you to the rhinos, giraffes, hippopotamuses, zebras, and other zoo animals who contribute!
GroCo™ compost is no longer being produced in partnership with King County. However, we look forward to being able to provide new Loop® compost products, made from organic materials in our wastewater, in the future!
Cover Crop Seed Giveaway
Cover cropping is an important way for gardeners and farmers to protect the soil over the winter and increase nutrients and organic matter in the soil. The roots hold the soil in place and prevent nutrients from being washed away into our waterways, the biomass competes with weeds and contributes nutrients, and the spring flowers make great food and habitat for pollinators. KCD provides free cover crop seeds to community agriculture programs in the Fall.
FREE Soil Nutrient 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?
Seed Money Grants
KCD’s Seed Money Grant Program supports new and existing community-led agriculture projects within King County. The program’s purpose is to promote resilient food systems and communities and safeguard food sovereignty.
KCD will award up to $3,500 to new community agriculture projects and $1,000 to existing community agriculture projects to purchase approved tools and supplies, such as garden tools, seeds and plants, materials for compost bins or garden beds, or small greenhouses. KCD will purchase the requested items and have them delivered to the community garden site. Projects will be selected based on potential for community impact and engagement of diverse groups. Any community-based group, including neighborhood or garden groups, faith-based organizations, non-profits, government entities, apartment complexes, schools, etc., are welcome to apply.
The 2023 Seed Money Grant Application is now closed as of May 16, 2023. Stay tuned for updates for 2024.
All projects require an initial site visit before funds are awarded, as well as a close-out site visit at the culmination of the project. Technical assistance will be provided if requested.
Grant applications must be submitted through the online grant portal. You must have a username and password to log into the online grant portal. If you have applied for a grant from KCD before, contact us for your username and password. If you have not applied to a grant before, you will need to create a new account. The video below explains how to create an account and apply.
Applications are accepted yearly on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. The application is closed for 2023. All projects require an initial site visit before funds are awarded, as well as a close-out site visit at the culmination of the project. Technical assistance will be provided if requested.
Want to learn more about KCD’s Community Agriculture Program or need additional resources? Contact Miranda.Smith@kingcd.org or call 425-773-5060.