Getting into Action: Climate Friendly Gardening

Earlier this year, a climate partnership was born as a part of our Drawdown Solutions: Getting into Action workshop series between participants Jim Little and Elizabeth Smoots. During the workshop, Elizabeth and Jim decided to research and write a tip sheet on Climate Friendly Gardening for the King County Master Gardeners. This tip sheet was recently accepted and published. These tip sheets are handed out for free to clients that visit the King County Master Gardener Clinics throughout the county and they are available on-line. This tip sheet will help inform both Master Gardeners and their clients about Climate Friendly Gardening. You can read a news brief about the process that Elizabeth and Jim went through in developing this worksheet HERE (and reproduced below as well).

The Foundation Connection

            A monthly e-newsletter from the Master Gardener Foundation of King County                                                                                                                   

Extend Your Resources

An occasional series highlighting recent WSU Extension or King County Master Gardener home gardening publications and other helpful clinic resources.

New Tip Sheet #14: Climate Friendly Gardening

…Introduction by Mary Watts, WSU King County Master Gardener Program Coordinator; Story and Tip Sheet #14 by James Little, Master Gardener, and Elizabeth Smoots, Seattle physician and gardener

There is a brand new tip sheet, hot off the presses, our new Climate Friendly Gardening Tip Sheet #14. This was the brainchild of Master Gardener James Little and a community member. Here is their story:

“The idea for a Climate Friendly Gardening Tip Sheet grew out of a “Getting Into Action” workshop sponsored by Drawdown Seattle (DrawdownSeattle.org) earlier this year. Veteran Master Gardener Jim Little met Seattle gardener Elizabeth Smoots at the workshop, and they decided to do a joint project on the contribution gardeners can make in reversing climate change. Drawdown Seattle inspires workshop attendees to get informed and engaged in promoting the many solutions available right now to limit global warming. Drawdown Seattle encourages attendees to initiate actions in their local communities and as well as support larger-scale climate action to preserve a livable planet for our children.

In February, Little and Smoots attended the Soil, Food and Climate Change workshop sponsored by Master Gardeners in Fall City, hosted by Susan Miller. The workshop featured talks by husband and wife team Dr. David Montgomery and Anne Biklé on how to build healthy soil that stores the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. WSU Professor Chad Kruger also presented a lecture on agriculture and climate change. After the workshop, Jim and Elizabeth decided to try to put together a Master Gardener tip sheet on climate-friendly gardening.

In addition to a shared interest in gardening, Jim and Elizabeth discovered on the drive to the workshop that they are both physicians. Jim Little was a spinal cord injury physician at the Seattle VA Medical Center for 29 years, and is now retired. A family physician for many years, Elizabeth Smoots specializes in integrative and functional medicine in her telemedicine practice. She has authored Allergy Guide: Alternative & Conventional Solutions and has published many health articles. 

Before writing the tip sheet, both Jim and Elizabeth had a good understanding of climate change and the recommended solutions, but they needed to undertake a critical review of the research on gardening in relation to climate change. After sifting through the scientific research and writing multiple drafts, they finally had a draft to submit to Carrie Hill and Mary Watts. Carrie and Mary made some additional edits and the team arrived at the final version of the 14th tip sheet, Climate Friendly Gardening. You can view it, download it, or print it out at https://extension.wsu.edu/king/gardening/gardeningtipsheets/ ˮ

WSU Publications: 

There are well over 200 home gardening publications available at pubs.wsu.edu Most are free to download. Many of these publications are also posted at WSU’s Gardening in Washington State: gardening.wsu.edu