Ballard Sprouts 2020 – Up and Growing!

Starting Seeds and Growing Plants for Gardeners who Grow Food for Food Banks

The Ballard Sprouts 2020 project started on February 14, 2020.

Update as of May 29, 2020

Sustainable Ballard’s Sprouts Project is complete for 2020! On May 29th, the Sprouts project distributed 1,200 tomato plants to gardeners in Seattle who grow food for the various food bank programs. These seeds were started on April 5th, transplanted at the end of April. All May the seedlings were tended in hoop houses. Now they are ready to go into the ground with this warmer weather.

Our goal is to give the Seattle Giving Gardeners a head start on the season with healthy plant starts. In early April and May, Sprouts distributed over 20,000 cool weather plants: lettuce, chard, kale, broccoli, collards, cabbage & Asian greens.

Over 40 giving gardens, mostly associated with the P-Patch program throughout the city, benefit from the Sprouts Project. The smaller gardens take a couple dozen plants, the larger gardens take 200-500 plants. They grow the plants to maturity and donate the harvest to Food Banks.

This completes the Sprouts project for 2020. We had a wonderful team of volunteers who worked safely throughout this COVID-19 crisis. A big thanks to all of them.

Update as of May 8, 2020

The Ballard Sprouts team transplanted 1200 tomato plants, 1 per pot, from the seeding trays on Monday April 28th. These plants are now in the hoop houses and will stay there until the end of May. When the weather is warmer they will be ready for pick up by the Seattle Giving Gardners who are growing food for the Food Banks.

The second distribution, over 7,000 plants, of greens (Pac Choi, Kale, Cabbage, Collards, Lettuce, Chard and Asian Greens) was placed on the 2×4’s on top of saw horses for pick-up on Tuesday, April 29th. Beautiful plants. Happy gardeners.

Update as of April 15, 2020

The Ballard Sprouts volunteers have completed the transplanting of over 20,000 seedlings into 4×4″ pots for distribution. The first set of plants have been fertilized and hardened off and were distributed starting on April 9th. Over 4,000 plants were pickup by Seattle Giving Gardeners keeping social distancing and wearing masks. They will now grow the plants and donate the harvest to Seattle Food Banks and food kitchens. In a few weeks the next set of plants will be big enough for distribution. Tomatoes were seeded and have sprouted. We will transplant these seedlings later in April and tend them until the end of May.

Update as of March 23, 2020

The Ballard Sprouts project continues during this challenging time.
More seeds have been planted: Pac Choi, Mustard Greens and three types of Asian Greens. Volunteers work alone (or together if a couple) in a greenhouse or outside, weather permitting, six feet apart. The team is transplanting the seedlings into pots, 5 per pot. This is an amazing task and over 10,000 seedlings have been transplanted. The plants are now outside to take advantage of the warm sunshine on sunny days and covered by row cloth at night and on cold days. These will be ready to distribute in early April to Seattle gardeners growing food for the Food Banks.

Update as of March 13, 2020

Twenty trays of seeds (Kale, Chard, Broccoli, Collards, Cabbage, Lettuce) were planted and placed in the greenhouse. Now, four weeks later, the team is transplanting these small plants into 3×3″ pots, individually labeled. These pots will be ready for distribution to Seattle Giving Gardeners in early April.