Here at Stone Soup Gardens, we’ve had a busy and very exciting start to this new year. With many new residential and community projects on the horizon, our team has dove into educational opportunities to better serve our community.
Leading the Year with Learning RainWise
Although Jake got to facilitate the inaugural Rainwise Academy last year, 2020 was dry for rain gardens at Stone Soup. So we were grateful to kick off 2021 with an edible rain garden installation! We had a wonderful opportunity for the whole team to share knowledge on the installation of rain gardens on a residential site. Guided by RainWise contractor resources, we went over the why and the how of rain garden construction including plumbing material standards, how to plan a rain garden’s depth and size, how to choose plants, and how to create the best drainage and overflow systems. It was a fun collaborative session co-facilitated by our three experienced installers. This impromptu training has ensured that every single one of our team members has intricate knowledge of the design and installation process for RainWise rain gardens.
Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop
We love getting to care for trees, and we love to further our knowledge of how to do so. As part of our team’s monthly education, we had the awesome opportunity to chat with Barb Burrill, an active orchardist involved in the Tilth Alliance, the Seattle Tree Fruit Society, and other groups that look after our city’s plentiful fruit trees. We had an extensive conversation about specific care regimens for all different kinds of fruits, what time of year is best for different kinds of maintenance, and how best to talk to owners of fruit trees about taking care of them. Some of our team has continued to engage and collaborate with Barb and the Tilth Alliance through consistent pruning sessions.
Water Brings Life
We are excited to share our ongoing collaboration with Highline United Methodist Church in Burien. In 2018, we began work with Highline UMC to design the Hazel Valley Community Garden, which aims to improve stormwater mitigation, increase food access, bring neighbors together, and build healthy soil. In 2019, we returned to collaborate with the Nature Stewards to design and install two edible roadside rain gardens, with Tilth Alliance Soil and Water Stewards to build 30 raised vegetable beds in the community garden, and with King Conservation District to fill those raised beds with Hugelkultur fill. You can learn about our involvement at Hazel Valley Community Farm on our portfolio, as well as in KCD’s blog.
This year, we are returning to this site to dive into the next phase of their community installation, a rain-harvesting irrigation system! We will be installing a 6,000 gallon system that will help irrigate the community farm and the growing food forest.
See below for photos of our past installation work at this site, or see our portfolio for more.
Paradise Parking Plots is hosted at Hillside Church in Kent and is a project with World Relief Seattle. The goal is to transform 2 acres of parking lot into a community farm for the surrounding refugee population which will become a hub for community building through food. Designed by Stone Soup Gardens, Paradise Parking Plots will be a powerful demonstration home to the first raingardens in Kent, will capture part of a 30,000 square foot roof into large cisterns, and will help to turn a natural spring into a habitat pond. (The stream currently runs across the pavement and into a storm drain.)
On June 23rd, Stone Soup Gardens employees went to the first Depave project to help create a garden paradise! Marco, our designer, Patrick, our crew lead, Susan, our Office Manager, and Jake - our esteemed leader headed off to pick up a shovel and lend a few hands.
Here is a look at the overall property before the depave. (The parking lot we were working to remove is the rectangular lot below the church building. )
Thanks to Turner Construction, their fabulous employees, their awesome heavy equipment, tools, and safety gear, along with other volunteers from World Relief Seattle, King County Conservation District, and Hillside Church, we were able to remove most of the asphalt from the parking areas, and put it into large dumpsters to be hauled away.
Great job everyone! We are looking forward to seeing this as it progresses. Check out this article from King 5 about the project.
Our work at Alleycat Acres Wetmore Garden project is still underway. Since this is a volunteer and community led job, we could use your help! Alleycat Acres hosts work parties at Wetmore the last Saturday of the month, which is this coming Saturday, May 27th from 10 am - 2 pm. Come on out and get your hands dirty and help create this awesome gathering space, garden plots, trails, and urban food forest.
Questions? Want to find out more? The Wetmore Community Farm is coordinated by Kyla Rudnick and community liaison Annalisa Moore. You can reach them here: Kyla@alleycat-acres.org and Annalisa@alleycat-acres.org.
Volunteer work party at Wetmore Community Gardens
Saturday, May 27th - 10 am - 2 pm
Corner of Wetmore Ave S and S Estelle St, just off Rainier Ave S. (map)
We had a nice little mention in this Spring's P-Patch post. Judkins P-Patch is a wonderful place for growing veggies and community. For more information about Judkins P-Patch, take a peek at their Facebook page.
Interested in the work we did for the P-patch? Look at our previous posts HERE and HERE, or stop by and see our lovely patio and retaining wall for yourself!
Would you like to read more, or perhaps receive the P-Patch Post for yourself? Click HERE.
At the end of last year, Stone Soup Gardens had the pleasure of being chosen to create new urbanite retaining walls at the Judkins Park P-Patch. The walls were part of a larger vision the community and the Department of Neighborhoods had for the P-Patch, and they wanted someone skilled with using recycled materials for the job. (See previous post HERE.)
This year, the Department of Neighborhoods and the folks at the P-Patch came back and asked us to install a community patio space, as well as a space for ADA accessible raised garden beds at the Norman St entrance to the P-Patch.
We've been busy for the last week working on this project, and we are excited to share with you how things are shaping up! Take a look below to see the newly laid patio space, and the finishing of our retaining walls. Next up, ground cover installation and a hand-made inlay welcoming you to Judkins P-Patch. Check back, there are more photos to come!
This is how Stone Soup Gardens rolls - check out our blog for current, upcoming, and past projects, events, and other super cool stuff worth mentioning.