Olympia Kiwanis Foodbank Gardens

The Olympia Kiwanis Club manages three gardens in the Olympia area. Approximately 30,000 pounds of produce is raised, harvested, and then donated to the Thurston County Foodbank.

Good to Grow

Check out our video describing all the hard work that is invested by Olympia Kiwanis Club and community volunteers in our three gardens.

Garden Locations:

Goche/Friendly Grove Rd Farm

3020 Friendly Grove Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98501, north on Friendly Grove Rd turn east on 30th Ct NE, go to the end, on the right side.

Capitol Campus

212 Maple Park Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501 (Just north of the Employment Security Building)

Westside Garden 

3839 11th Ave. NW, Olympia WA 98502

March 15, 2018 Garden Update:

Hello to All, You Garden and Food Bank Lovers!

Olympia Kiwanis and the Thurston County Food Bank thank you for all of your dedicated hours weeding and harvesting vegetables in 2017. Thanks to your hard work, over 30,000 pounds of produce was donated in 2017 to the Thurston County Food Bank and given to community members in need. We hope that you will help us again this year to provide nutritious food to the community.

This year we are focusing on extending our growing season and having more crops available to clients in the spring, late fall, and winter. In January of this year we harvested 480 pounds of cabbage, either the last harvest of last season or the first of 2018. Currently we have spinach and bok choi seeded in the high tunnels at the west side, cabbage starts in the greenhouse, and radish and turnips planted under cover cloth at the Capitol Campus.

We will have summer staff in addition to Mackenzie, and we want to accommodate regular volunteers too, so the regular schedule is still forming.  From now on we will have work to do and instruction for volunteers on virtually all Saturdays. Saturday, March 17, we will spread manure at the West Side garden from 8am-12pm. This is a very big job, so we could use all the help we can get. Just an hour of your time would be appreciated.

The gardens at Capitol Campus have a special public relation needs so we must spread manure there on a Saturday, when fewer employees are present and when we can get it tilled in and odors suppressed. More later on this one.

Though we hope to see you before April 14th, we would like to celebrate the beginning of this season with a Kiwanis, Staff and Volunteer Kick-off Party on Saturday, April 14th from 8 am to 1 pm at the West Side Garden located at 3839 11th Ave NW and bring together volunteers from all three garden sites as well as some Food Bank employees. We will work from 8am to 11am, transplanting our first cabbage crop, prepping the field for seeding snap peas, and completing other tasks to prepare the fields for the season ahead. You can also volunteer on this day with the wood crew, chopping and splitting firewood for families in need. From 11am-12pm we will have an early lunch provided.

The following week starting April 16th, we will begin our regular weekly schedule, that will be similar to the 2017 schedule, but still needs to be finalized so stay tuned.  Don Leaf continues to be the Garden Committee Chair for the Olympia Kiwanis Club, and is joined by committee members Marla Kentfield as our communications coordinator, Leighton Johnson as our lead handyman, Barry Diseth who is our irrigation specialist, and members who we depend on for special projects including Derek Valley, John Zuroske, and Tom Newcomb. Mackenzie McCall is joining us for a third season as a Food Bank employee and will be coordinating volunteers and field production.

Thank you again for your dedicated service, and we hope to see you soon in the gardens!


Don Leaf

Olympia Kiwanis Garden Chair

Notes and Progress by Marla Kentfield:

Oct. 29, 2017

I seem to say thank you a lot but I can’t find another sentiment that comes close!  This last week three groups from TESC, Olympia High School, and TESC again, harvested, cleaned up fields and in general came through in the face of an irritating difficulty.  On Thursday, a field trip from Evergreen called Seeds of Change, came to the west side.  On arrival that afternoon, they found us (Mackenzie McCall and Marla) figuring out how to proceed with the barn lock broken in locked position.  Mackenzie innovated and organized and Seeds of Change helped and harvested and cooperated!  They harvested 1,000 pounds of pumpkins, and 60 pounds of cabbage and cleaned 665 pounds of onions.  Across town Oly High Freedom Farmers harvested and washed 285 pounds of leeks.  The previous day TESC and Karen Gaul’s class harvested carrots, took down tomato vines and pulled weeds.  Yes, Thank You is the only expression that comes to mind!  Your effort has helped us harvest over 28,000 pounds this year, in over 76 deliveries,  from April into November.  

Special Request:

Consider a donation to support the garden interns next year.  Part-time farm/garden workers in temporary employment with the Food Bank acting as employer, helps give the gardens week to week continuity, and helps us keep ahead of the weeds. Your donation to the Thurston County Food Bank with a request that your donation be used for Food Bank garden workers guarantees that your donation will be used that way.  Thank You!