Every semester, we work with many enthusiastic and helpful volunteers in the Danny Woo Community Garden. We wouldn't be able to function without them! This January we are excited to introduce Kaeli Deng, who is our University of Washington Work Study. She has been volunteering with us for over a year by helping in the garden, communicating with gardeners in Mandarin, and organizing events with us.
Who are you?
My name is Kaeli Deng, I’m a work study student from UW.
How long have you been part of the DWCG community?
I’ve been part of the DWCG community since last year. I started with volunteering in the garden whole quarter when I was a college student. Now I come back as a work study student to help this community become better.
Why did you start volunteering/working at the garden?
I like to do some outdoor jobs that related to my major which is Environmental Science. When I first time searching the volunteer jobs, I found Danny Woo Community Garden is perfectly matched to my ideal job. People in the garden are so friendly and kindly, they’d love to share their knowledge and experiences with everyone who wants to learn. There’s no cultural and language hinder between difference races. I feel so warm to work with people here and this is why I come back as a work study student.
What is your favorite Asian/Chinese vegetable or food?
My favorite Asian vegetable is peas! Any kinds of peas are welcome! My favorite Chinese food is braised pork.
Where did you grow up?
I grow up in two places, one is China, and another one is Saipan, my birthplace.
What languages do you speak?
I can speak Chinese and English, and I’m learning German right now.
What are your hobbies and or special skills?
I’d like to do gardening when it is the season. Drawing and reading are also my hobbies when I can’t go out. My special skill is be nice to everyone.
Versatile, reliable, and energetic (with a splash of sass).
On the Wednesdays between October 10th and December 12th, this fun, young group met in an after-school Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development (WILD) program. They weaved their way through team-based competitions, juggled both cooking and carving, and soaked in all the horticultural knowledge they could harvest. (Pun intended.)
More specifically, in October we planted Thai basil for the elders in the C-ID, learned about the different nutrients plants need, toured Mrs. Huang's garden, preformed collaboratively-created poems, and held a pumpkin carving competition that involved roasting the seeds with a mystery ingredient.
In November we put the Danny Woo Children's Garden to bed, learned about plant families and organic fertilizing methods, planted garlic, made Ssam, crafted vertical pallet gardens out of recycled materials, painted prayer flags with our eldest gardener Mr. Pan, and experienced a traditional tea ceremony presented by local business owner Caroline Lee.
The final December weeks involved making Kimchi from scratch with Mrs. Baskerville, decorating the terracotta pots that will hold the Thai basil, and hanging our flags up in the garden.
At InterIm CDA's Holiday Party, the youth will be presenting their gifts of basil to the elder residents. We look forward to that and to the winter quarter program which will begin in January.
As you might have guessed, it has been a full and fulfilling quarter! I would like to thank the youth, my co-facilitator Lizzy Baskerville, Mrs. Huang, Mr. Pan, Caroline Lee, Mrs. Baskerville, Andrea Say, Henry Liu, Eliza Guan, and all others who made these experiences possible. We hope that WILD continues to liven the community garden space and connect the generations present in this diverse and historic district for many years to come.
Help our Gardeners at the Danny Woo Community Garden!
Hours: 9:30-11:30 am every Wednesday
Description: We are looking for a volunteer to help us better communicate with our Mandarin-speaking gardeners. The volunteer will work closely with the Danny Woo Community Garden manager Lizzy Baskerville, our Cantonese interpreter Eliza Guan, and other garden staff. The volunteer would either work inside to make phone calls to gardeners, translate written material into Chinese, or walk through the garden and talk with gardeners to see if they need assistance or have any questions or concerns.
Qualifications: Fluent in Mandarin, ability to read and write Chinese. Interest in working with elders and interest in gardening a plus!
If interested please email Lizzy at email@example.com
Want to learn how to paint with watercolors?
Want to make your own postcards to send to family and friends?
Look no further! For $20 per person, the garden will be hosting a painting class for all skill levels and ages. An instructor will lead the class and each person will get to take home three of their own watercolored postcards. Fresh pressed cider from our orchard, donuts, and painting supplies will be provided.
If you're interested, get your tickets at interimicda.maestroweb.com or contact Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org. Seats are limited so sign up as soon as possible to reserve yours!
The day will be spent disassembling fences around the garden. We are preparing for major reconstruction of some of our plots and this will help the elders' transition tremendously. Feel free to bring a friend! Closed-toe shoes and long pants are recommended. If you’re interested, please RSVP to Angela Patel email@example.com or to our Facebook event.
Danny Woo Community Garden
Monday - Friday
9 - 9:30 am
Help us keep the garden beautiful in exchange for some steaming herbal tea! This event will be hosted every morning Monday-Friday and the garden staff is looking for helpers (and/or tea-lovers) like YOU. A daily trash sweep is essential for maintaining a clean and safe space for our gardeners and visitors. The tea stand will be on the picnic tables near the S Main St garden entrance and the garden staff will provide all of the cleaning materials. We hope to see you there!
Learn more about your community garden by checking out the interactive (clickable) tour map here. The map was created by Sachi Kagaya, a student from the University of Washington-Seattle, by using software tools such as ArcMap and ArcGIS Online. She also made an interactive garden map that has made managing the garden easier for the garden staff. Enjoy!
On March 10th, along with The Mission Continues and other veterans services groups in the area, we laid the concrete foundation for Alessandra Panieri's "Guardian Flower" sculpture, which is now located in the Children's Garden. We completed the installation of the sculpture on March 17th along with community volunteers.
The beautiful steel sculpture is a flower with red birds petals, standing at 15' tall. We are grateful to Alessandra Panieri for her generous donation, Dan Barsher for managing the installation, veterans from The Mission Continues and our community volunteers for their labor and support of this collaboration. Check out more of Alessandra's art at www.alessandrapanieri.com and check out The Mission Continues at www.missioncontinues.org . Happy Spring!
On Thursday March 1st, 25 gardeners from the Namaste Garden in Tukwila traveled to the Danny Woo Community Garden for an exchange of culture, history, and seeds.
The Namaste Garden, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee and St. Thomas Parish, offers access to healthy food, supports the St Thomas food bank, creates educational opportunities for students, and provide local refugees with a place to meet their neighbors and strengthen community ties.
The gardeners who visited are Bhutanese refugees, who were exiled from Bhutan for being of Nepalese descent. In the early 1990s, about 100,000 Nepali-speaking Bhutanese, many of whom came from families that had lived and farmed in southern Bhutan for generations, wound up in refugee camps in eastern Nepal. About 85% of the refugees wound up in the United States, and about 2,000 still live in Washington state, though many have had to move out of state because of the region's high cost of living.
InterIm CDA's Executive Director Pradeepta Upadhyay is originally from Nepal, and greeted the Namaste gardeners and introduced the Danny Woo Community Garden in her native tongue. With the help of Mandarin-to-English and English-to Nepali interpretation, Danny Woo Garden's 94-year-old Elder Xie Pan gave a tour of his garden plots and explained why the Danny Woo Community Garden is important to the community in Chinatown International District. He invited the gardeners to come back later in the season. "In July or August, there will be many vegetables," Pan said. "You can come and take as many as you like!"
After the tour, the gardeners exchanged seeds at Hirabayashi Place, InterIm's newest affordable housing development named after Seattle-native Gordon Hirabayashi, who famously resisted Japanese American Internment and won a Supreme Court Case in 1980. We discussed the history of the Nihonmachi neighborhood and the legacy of Mr. Hirabayashi. Many of the Namaste gardeners, refugees who faced persecution for their ethnic heritage, did not know that the United States government persecuted its own citizens for being of Japanese descent during World War II.
The Danny Woo Community Garden provided seeds to the gardeners, which were donations from Seed Savers Exchange, Kiwazawa Seed Company, and Seattle Seed Company. The Namaste Gardeners generously brought their own saved seeds, including amaranth, bitter melon, and rare varieties of mustard greens from Nepal used to make a dish called Gundruk.
It was a beautiful event and we hope to continue a meaningful relationship with the Namaste Gardeners.
The Danny Woo Community Garden is a 1.5 acre edible growing space located in the heart of Seattle's Chinatown/International District. The garden has been a place for elders to grow for over 40 years and is also home to a children's garden, chicken coop, and outdoor kitchen. Visit us at 620 S. Main St., Seattle, WA 98104.