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Our Work

Garden Green provides education on nontoxic alternatives to toxic pesticides, for home gardeners, farmers, retailers, parks departments, municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and corporations.

Located on Vashon Island, in Puget Sound, we specialize in the green gardening needs of Western Washington.

Our Work Includes:

• Development of green garden product purchasing guides

• Educating retailers about green garden products and the risks of toxic products and encouraging them to stock more green products and less of the toxic products

• Giving talks to the public, schools, community groups, and businesses

• Creation of Green Ways that Work! for retailers and gardeners, covering all major gardening categories

• Creating Fact Sheets on key garden pests of Western Washington, and how to address them without the use of toxic chemicals

• Writing articles for publication on harm caused by toxic pesticides, and organic alternatives.

• Secondary and primary research of organic products and methods

About Michael and Diane


Michael has been researching and working to reduce toxic pesticide use in the Pacific Northwest since 2003. He served on the Washington Toxics Coalition board for 2 years.

His work on pesticide education on Vashon Island, Washington has been done with retailers, home gardeners, Master Gardeners, professional landscapers, and other Vashon organizations. He led the effort to create guides to toxic pesticides for Vashon Island retailers to post in their pesticide aisle, an ongoing effort since 2007. Over the years, his efforts have been supported and sponsored by Puget Sound Partnership, The Vashon-Maury Island Groundwater Protection Committee, Seattle Tilth, King County, Washington, Sustainable Vashon, the Rose Foundation, and many individuals.

Trained as a Master Gardener and Master Composter, Michael has been gardening organically for over 40 years. In his home garden (with Diane Emerson) he grows over 200 species of culinary and medicinal herbs, fruit, vegetables, native plants, and ornamental plants.

Michael has been a sustainability consultant for over 30 years, and founded Watershed LLC,


Diane joined Michael in this work in 2014. She knows chemicals, having a science degree and 17 years working in the specialty chemical industry.

She, like Michael, has been an organic gardener for over 40 years, and has found many ways to get the job done without using toxic chemicals.

A past president of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society, Diane has given many presentations on gardening, helped lead gardening tours to Europe, and advised and encouraged thousands of gardeners over the years. She helped create the Minnesota Green community garden program, and spent the summer of 2011 bicycling and guerrilla gardening in France. She obtained her permaculture design certificate in 2012 from Starhawk’s Earth Activist Training

In 2014 she organized a Permaculture Design Certificate course on Vashon Island, Washington, offered on a gift basis.

Michael and Diane live on Vashon Island, where they practice what they preach on 3 acres of forest and 1/2 acre of garden, filled with medicinal and edible plants. Diane offers organic gardening services to island residents, and advises on plant selection, garden design, eco-turf, and ways to decrease maintenance. Her gardening services website is

Articles We Have Written

To benefit salmon, choose ‘green’ gardening alternatives.

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber, October 10, 2018

Try out water-wise tips for gardening in the Northwest

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

A Green Solution That Works for Fruit Trees,

The Vashon Loop, October, 2017

As Fall Begins, Consider an Eco-Friendly Lawn

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

September 5, 2017

Pesticides pose risk for island and beyond

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Articles Which Mention Our Work

Two island stores discontinue Roundup sales Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber,

Go green in the garden: Free information cards make it easy

Islanders concerned about the environmental effects of lawn and garden products have a new resource available to help make choices that protect the health of humans, wildlife and water.

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