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.”
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.
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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 favorite event of the year is next weekend! Come buy some beautiful starts from Tilth, say hello to your Seattle community, and cuddle some chickens with Stone Soup Gardens. We'll be on site with our lovely flock o'birds who are just a flutter with the cuddling possibilities. Come and get your garden on. We can't wait to see you.
Last year one of our raingarden installations was featured in a small spot with Ciscoe (of Gardening with Ciscoe) and King 5 for Make a Difference Day 2016. We are so proud! Check out more on the construction of this raingarden HERE.
The design for this garden was by the wonderful Jaqueline Cramer of Earth Care by Design Collaborators. Way to go, team!
The Northwest Permaculture Convergence (NWPCC) is an inclusive annual weekend-long event that alternates between Oregon and Washington State. The Convergence brings together a remarkable diversity of people, all with creative approaches for designing living environments, and economic and culture systems that thrive within ecologically sustainable limits.
This year, Stone Soup Gardens, along with ten of our awesome crew members, stormed the Annual NW Permaculture Convergence by land and by Puget Sound! Stone Soup Gardens was a sponsor of this years event, which allowed us to take full advantage of the weekend's offerings, while enjoying a bit of rainy northwest weather at beautiful Fort Flagler State Park.
We arrived on Friday, set up camp, and then went to hear mycologist guru, Paul Stamets, speak about his recent experience helping to solve bee colony collapse disorder. Fascinating work, check out his TED talk HERE, and buy and grow your own mushrooms from his company Fungi Perfecti!
The next morning, Pandora Thomas gave a riveting talk on the importance of promoting cross-cultural dialogue and education around permaculture design within diverse communities. It was an uplifting and invigorating talk, and highlighted that permaculture is more than just designing sustainable living environments, that you must also consider and empower the social, economic, and cultural systems within those communities, in order for the system to thrive.
There were an astounding number of speakers and events throughout Saturday and Sunday, including our very own Patrick Loderhose with a discussion on Greywater Systems, and Jake Harris, who spoke on Actualizing Abundance: Growing a Career in Permaculture. It was a great way for our crew to interact and gain knowledge in order to benefit themselves on their own paths, as well as fueling the greater knowledge base of Stone Soup Gardens.
To round out the weekend, our own Joe Barrett volunteered to be on the NW Permaculture board, along with longtime board member (and our awesome designer), Jacqueline Cramer. Joe will help plan next year's permaculture convergence in Oregon. Way to go, Joe!
If you are interested in learning more about the Northwest Permaculture Convergence, check out the website for a full listing of this year's speakers and events, as well as all of the opportunities available to help out this awesome organization.
ATGStores.com is joining Stewardship Partners to professionally landscape one lucky winner’s yard with an eco-friendly rain garden that will help protect Puget Sound! Rain gardens are beautiful features that increase home value while preserving our natural resources.
The new rain garden will be fully installed by eco-landscaping professionals, and the winner will also receive up to $1,000 in outdoor furniture from ATGStores.com to make it perfect.
For more information and to register: Visit their website!
No Purchase Necessary - Ends 9/23/16
We are embracing the digital age here at Stone Soup Gardens with our mighty new Instagram Account. Come on over and follow us and see what we are up to. Photos from life, love, landscaping, hardscaping, permaculture, events, and more!
Hey! Jake Harris of Stone Soup Gardens was featured on the Seattle Channel! Watch the video to find out more about what the Tilth Edible Plant Sales have to offer, including classes, native plants, organic vegetable starts, and camaraderie with your gardening community! Learn how easy it is to grow your own garden, and how effective it can be in creating a collective impact on our lovely Puget Sound. One raingarden, one vegetable garden, and one cistern at a time!
The next Tilth Plant Sale is in May, you can find out more on our Education Page, or by visiting the Seattle Tilth Website.
The media blitz isn't over yet. Check out this awesome spot of us highlighting the 2015 Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour. I love my job!
Q13 FOX News Spot - Gardening with Tim
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.