Phillip Smith

Urban gardening takes root in Seattle: Produce stands, chickens, and more, oh my!

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to spend time with a roomful of people doing some pretty inspiring work (one of the best perks of my job!). One of those people was Richard Conlin, Council President for the City of Seattle.

For several years now, Richard has worked to help make Seattle a more livable city. This past Monday, Seattle become one of the few places in the States where you can:

  • Grow food on your residential and sell it there too (think curb-side fruit stands in every community).
  • Put a small, food-producing, greenhouse on your roof
  • And -- garnering a surprising amount of attention, and praise -- the ability to raise up to eight chickens in your backyard.

This is only the latest development in what is an impressive record of achievements toward making Seattle one of the most green, low-waste, and energy-efficient cities in the US.

Richard -- who biked from his home in Seattle to the gathering on Bainbridge Island -- brims with enthusiasm when talking about urban farming, community gardening, and the potential for Seattle to become a zero-waste city.

Canada needs to find a way to import some of this vision and execution to our city councils. Toronto, I'm lookin' at you.


Hi, I'm Phillip Smith, a veteran digital publishing consultant, online advocacy specialist, and strategic convener. If you enjoyed reading this, find me on Twitter and I'll keep you updated.


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