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Washington State University

Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Advisory: WSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being provided virtually, or by approved plan. Effective July 6, 2021, Snohomish County WSU Extension will have a limited administration presence at Willis Tucker Park (Snohomish). The McCollum Park campus (Everett) continues to be closed to the public.  We are available via email, phone, and webconference.

Growing Groceries

Program Contact: Kate Ryan
(425) 357-6024 •

Why grow your own food?


1. Better Nutrition

Studies show that garden produce often has more vitamins and minerals than supermarket produce shipped from far away.

2. Save money.

One $3 seed packet can provide enough fresh carrots to supply a family for months. Growing your own food involves a small investment up front, but can save families hundreds of dollars in food costs each year.

3. Know what’s in your food.

Many families are concerned with the products used in commercial agriculture and their potential effect on health. Growing your own food gives you control over the choice to use pesticides or not and which ones.

4. Get/stay fit.

Building raised beds, raking, hoeing, weeding, planting, turning compost, and moving dirt, are all great forms of exercise.

5. Join the Eat Local movement!

Grown at home or the nearest community garden is as local (and fresh!) as it gets.

6. Enjoy seasonal eating.

Growing your own food allows you to reconnect with the variety of fruits and vegetables it’s possible to grow and preserve in our region throughout the year.

7. Create a wildlife habitat.

Diverse gardens provide an environment that attracts beneficial wildlife such as pollinator and beneficial insects as well as pest-eating birds and amphibians.

Vertical gardening, like this wall of lettuce made from wood and tarp, saves space and resources.8. Protect water resources.

EPA estimates that cancer-causing pesticides contaminate groundwater in 38 states, polluting the drinking water for more than half of our nation’s population. Growing your own food using compost and mulches can help reduce the overall amount of pesticides used.

9. Protect and promote biodiversity.

Home gardeners often grow unique varieties for their taste and suitability to different growing conditions. Maintaining these unique varieties helps ensure a resilient gene pool of biodiversity for future generations.

10. Help beautify our communities!

Beside growing lots of healthy food, home and community gardens are a great way to beautify neighborhoods, and can help bring pride of ownership to any area.

Hands with compost

Growing Groceries classes

Learn to grow fresh, healthy food. We start October 6 with the basics of Starting a Vegetable Garden.

Fifteen classes (two hours each) on everything you need to know about raising your own food! All online via Zoom. Registration will open very soon!

Growing Groceries 2022 Education Series


Growing Groceries Resources