ALLEYCAT ACRES CELEBRATES COMMUNITY FARM AT FALL FESTIVAL
by Carolyn Bick
October 18, 20218
Link to article
Beneath a tent along the little lane at the back of South Estelle Street, children painted freshly picked pumpkins, as others eagerly fed and petted chickens in a mobile coop a few feet away. Though neither the coop nor the tent were permanent, greenery surrounding the was: the lane is the site of Wetmore Community Farm, and Saturday saw the farm’s official grand opening.
Run by Alleycat Acres, the free community farm has been open since 2015, but, as Farm Coordinator and Program Director Kyla Rudnick explained, this year marked the end of any major projects on or clearing of the land.
The City of Seattle grant-funded farm originally opened, because a family who lived next door was tired of seeing the derelict land and got in contact with the organization.
“We started holding community meetings in the neighborhood to see if people were interested in a community garden, and what they wanted to do with the space and went from there,” Rudnick said. “We’ve been holding events here for about three years. … Now, we just have some more planting to do, and start maintaining the site.”
The farm is run in partnership with the Rainier Valley Food Bank, Senior Housing Assistance Group, the Downtown Emergency Service Center, and Stone Soup Gardens. In the years to come, Rudnick said they hope to get more of the community itself involved. Having the space serve as a community garden is important, she said, because there isn’t any green space like it in the immediate area. While that isn’t necessarily a problem for younger people, it can be a problem for seniors.
“We have a lot of senior citizens who live in the neighborhood, so having that green space where they can walk is really important,” Rudnick said. “Of course, all the food that we grow here is going directly to neighbors. … There are grocery stores around here, but having free, fresh produce is, of course, a boon to any neighborhood, and especially here, where we have such a dense neighborhood.”
Garden neighbor Plekeo Douangdara said she and her husband enjoy gardening, and that she walks around the community garden “all the time.” She’s been gardening for 30 years, she said, and is excited to contribute seeds and plants to the space.
“I have a lot of seeds, like Asian corn, Asian pumpkin, eggplants,” Douangdara said. “She said, ‘Okay, you can plant!’ … Very cool. Before, nobody wanted to go in here … but this year and last year is better.”
Who's Who in Hugelkultur
When: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 7 - 8:30 pm
Where: 21 Acres Center, 13701 Northeast 171st Street, Woodinville, WA 98072
Permaculture Woodinville is hosting a Who’s Who in Hügelkultur where working landscape and permaculture professionals (including our own Jake Harris!) will offer homeowners insight on how to incorporate hügelkultur into landscape design. Interested individuals are welcome to come learn about Hügelkultur, the European art of mound building, that provides;
*long term source of plant nutrients
*creation of healthy soil
*more surface area for plants
*water retention in the soil
*use of recyclable material from your property
***Prior to the panel of experts discussion at 7pm Permaculture Woodinville will give a walking tour of the ongoing Hugelkultur projects at 21 Acres. The tour will start at 6pm.***
CHOMP! Festival at Marymoor Park
We are offering FREE CLASSES at CHOMP!!
August 18 - 10am - 6 pm
CHOMP! is a new kind of County Fair. Join us August 18 at King County's Marymoor Park for a day of local food, live music, green living workshops, and activities for the whole family. Meet and interact with local farmers, community organizations, chefs and musicians in a family-friendly, completely free celebration of what makes King County great!
CLASS #1: Delicious Rain Garden Plants – 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Learn From Stone Soup Gardens Permaculture Designer, Marco Downs about how to incorporate delicious and beautiful plants into rain gardens at your home or community space. Our plant palette focuses on how to fulfill our clients’ needs with edible, native and wildlife habitat plants. We will talk through our favorites in those categories and provide space for questions about how best to work rain gardens into your plan. Great class for homeowners, contractors and designers who are looking to expand their palette.
CLASS #2: Greywater 101 with Patrick Loderhose - 12:45 – 1:45 PM
Greywater, water from sinks, showers, and washing machines, is a great source of irrigation and can greatly reduce your outdoor water use. Greywater systems are especially important in times of drought. Come learn about popular greywater systems from Patrick, who is a level 3 California trained greywater installer and designer. He'll teach you about design considerations, water saving potential, costs, regulations, health and safety, soaps and products, and how to choose a system that is a good match for your home and landscape.
A Tree Toppled Sunny Oasis
Can you believe it has been 80 degrees off and on already this year? Summer is suddenly upon us. We've been cracking on at Stone Soup Gardens this year, so much so that I haven't had a chance to tell you about all the cool gardens we've been creating. This one is particularly close to Stone Soup Gardens heart, as our clients just moved here from Boston to be closer to their grandchild (Little Miss Luna Klein-Harris).
The house initially had a fabulous willow tree in the front yard which was a selling point for the new owners. However, once the fall storms hit last year, the tree split in two with all the rain, and we had no choice but to remove the remainder of the tree. It was a sad day, but it left us with great potential for creating a dappled light garden in front of the house, as well as borders for all of the beds and raingarden. Sometimes, nature destroys and provides.
This project was a huge overhaul! Not only for the garden, but also for the house itself. While we were plugging away on the landscaping, the contractors added a big addition to the home to create a writing nook, as well as indoor access from the garage to the house. Not to mention an entire reconfiguration of the existing space.
Stone Soupers had their hands full as well. We created a new retaining wall around the perimeter of the yard. We interspersed mortarted stone with hand laid stone, as well as a more traditional tumbling rock wall. We built new pathways around the front yard, and added stairs from the driveway up to the entrance of the house for ease of access.
And that is just the front of the house! Along the back of the house, we installed a large cistern. On the side we built out several flower beds using the logs from the old willow tree. We also created a kidney-shaped mortared stone raised bed. Between the garage and the neighbors house we will be installing a flagstone pathway, along with a sun shaped inlaid flagstone patio in the nook outside the back door.
Pretty great, right? Here is the finished garden. We are super pleased with how it turned out. What do you think?
Article By Hannah Kett, The Nature Conservancy - Cities Program Manager
Photo by Hannah Letinich
A year ago, the parking lot at Kent Hillside Church was just that — a parking lot, with moss growing on the cracks and an almost constant stream running along the bottom of it. Today, it is hard to picture what it used to look like. Now, it is now home to 50 garden plots, four cisterns, a tool shed and blossoming community.
You want to read more, don't you?
Keep Reading Here......
Have I mentioned how really spectacular it is that we were chosen to do the design and installation for the Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden? Not to mention that we get to work regularly with World Relief Seattle and the unforgettable Tahmina Martelly. Take a quick gander around 4.10 at the work being done at Paradise. It is truly remarkable and inspirational.
And - come to the Grand Opening at Hillside Church on May 9th - 6 - 8 pm!
Whale, hello topiary!
You may not know this about Stone Soup Gardens, but we secretly like to make animal topiary out of shrubbery. Take this formative juniper for example, just yearning to break free of its confines and become....
A fin, an eye, a tail, what a lark! Jake dove deep into the bush cutting and weaving and removing years of old branches, and soon you could feel it begin to float. But what the heck is it? A shark?
A hack job from above, to say the least, but walk out your front door and what do your eyes feast? A humpback breaching above mulch water, a topiary creation to embarrass son and daughter. A wire and a branch weave will add to the tension, bringing a whale to comprehension. The visual aids of pictures and toys assist in the work of this big bearded boy.
So away we rode on a cetacean creation, a juniper humpback that swims with elation, South on 49th street is its forward direction, 50% scale done to topiary perfection.
For fun - here are a few of our other topiary creations:
Fall is here and we couldn't be more excited about our recent addition to the Stone Soup Family: The Starlight Hideout. Aptly named by our client's kids who are super stoked to have this little gem all to themselves. Earlier this year we built the fence in this backyard, along with a couple of raingardens in the front yard. For a look back on the project, click here.
But first, I introduce you to our new treehouse:
Isn't it wonderful! So much fun to design and build, and a great tree to build it in. This hideout comes with a selection of fairies, a fairy nest, and loads of little charms to keep the parental spirits away.
The raingardens in the front of the property are also looking pretty great with all of the recent rain we've received. Our clients opted for a nice mix of wildflowers, ground cover, and sedge to provide lots of colorful layers.
Interested in having a treehouse build in your yard? Whether its for cats, chickens, children, or perhaps just for you - give us a call and we can get the ideas flowing.
Food Brings a Sense of Community
The Nature Conservancy recently did a piece on our design work at Paradise Parking Plots at Kent Hillside Church in Kent, WA. We couldn't be happier! It is such an amazing project, and so many amazing people are involved in making it happen.
"The day to day uncertainty of being a refugee and immigrant can feel more manageable through the visceral feeling of smelling and tasting familiar food. By creating this community garden, Hillside Church and World Relief Seattle are giving refugees and immigrants a renewed sense of belonging."
Read all about it here:
To find out more about Paradise Parking Plots, follow their Facebook Page:
Our own Stone Soup Crew went to help with the depave project - check out our recap of the events of the day here: www.stonesoupgardens.com/blog/depave-party
A simple herring-bone pattern on this backyard patio makes a wonderful addition to the space, and adds color and character to what used to be a plot of grass. As with many northwest home owners, dealing with water most of the year can create a bit of a mucky situation, particularly when you add kids to the mix!
This client wanted to create an additional space for the family to hang out, extending from their existing deck to the back of the yard. They also wanted a better solution for the stairway leading up to the backyard, so that it wasn't simply a cascading waterfall into their foundation during the winter months. The brick paver patio provides a nice surface, while allowing water to naturally drain into the gravel channels along the sides. The bricks will also be a lush color in the winter when wet, which is nice for those rainy grey days.
We installed a permeable set of stairs which will allow the water to drain naturally through gravel, rather than running down or around the stairs. This design provides support and stability for the stairs, as well helping keep the water from the foundation on the shady side of the house. All in all, a lovely project that will last and last.
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.