Kent’s Peaceful Patch


Nicholas Brouman works in the garden acoss from Holden Elemetry School in Kent on July 7, 2014.

Alyssa Flynn

The Peaceful Patch may be small, but the co-operative garden finds its way to benefit those who plant vegetables and medicinal herbs.

Across from Holden Elementary, the garden started as an idea of political science major Lindsay Wheeler while she was living in one of the three Kent Cooperative house as a summer project. The Kent Cooperative is a 501(c)3 non-profit housing organization located in Kent.

With no money to pay those who want to help out, Wheeler said that there is an exchange of hours instead of money and those who spend time in the garden, planting will be able to choose from what’s grown in the garden.

“We are active with a time bank, they’re a really cool alternative to money,” Wheeler said. “We use the time bank to get soil, rototillers and people in the community who are good at these things, to help get word out about our efforts.”

What the Peaceful Patch grows:

kale, lettuce, onions, beans, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, and herbs.

Abby Greer, founder and executive director of the Kent Community Time Bank, said time banking is a system of exchange.

“Members pull their skill, their talents, their resources and exchange them by the hour,” Greer said. “Hopefully (they) will utilize the time bank by saying we need time bankers to help us, the Peaceful Patch can then pay those community members time credits to help them in the garden. One hour always equals one time credit.”

Wheeler also said the garden uses pre-owned materials and repurposed, like lumber, to help build the garden.

“Our budget is zero, we have no money to work with, we’re trying to do the best with what we have,” she said. “When everyone moves out of the dorms, it’s a really great time to go find extra materials.”

When students moved out of their houses for the summer, Wheeler said they went around and collected wood and other scrap materials, which were then used to build raised garden beds and trellises. The community garden group also helps support the garden by spending their money to buy soil and seeds.


Nicole Miller and Nicholas Brouman, with almost 6-month-old Loki Miller-Brouman, work in the garden acoss from Holden Elemetry School in Kent on July 7, 2014. Photo by MaKayla Brown

Nicole Miller, the Peaceful Patch’s coordinator, was inspired to come back after attending a permaculture course, Sustainable Vocations, at Quail Springs Permaculture in Cuyama, CA.  

“To make people feel like they’re apart of something good,” she said. “We want people to be active and feel a part of the garden.”

Miller said she came back from California striving to find a gardening project where she could take the ideas she learned about caring for the land and place them in an urban setting.

“Another big goal of this garden is education,” Wheeler said. “Teaching kids how to grow their own food.”

The Peaceful Patch will also be hosting open events

Miller said the idea that the garden is about giving and receiving. 

“We hope to show people the idea of giving and receiving. Give a half hour of time and pull some weeds and you’ll receive from the garden,” Miller said. “And the sense of ownership and camaraderie that comes from working with plants and the people and the journey together.” 

On Friday, July 11, the Peaceful Patch will be held its first project, Turning Waste Into Beauty, at 4 p.m. Miller said that they will be turning old tires into planters and are taking 5 dollar donations.

Miller said the more people that giving to the garden, than more of balloon effect for the community idea.

“People always unify over food,” Miller said. “I firmly feel that if people start eating better and recognizing what foods are really good for their body and understand and feel the results of giving themselves nourishment, then it can unify a community in that sense.”


Contact Alyssa Flynn at [email protected].