HOMEGROWN Road Trip Part 5: Seattle
We rolled into Seattle after tearing ourselves away from wonderful Portland, and – thanks to the most generous 10-year-old in all of Washington state – enjoyed a real bed to sleep in for a couple of days. Thank you, Bridget, for giving up your bedroom to these weary camper van-travelers!
Bridget’s parents took us to a wonderful new organization in their suburban community of Woodinville called 21 Acres. A powerful and, obviously, motivated group of citizens started 21 Acres to be a complete local food system resource to the community. When completed, the property will include a demonstration farm operating on permaculture principles, community garden plots, a farmers market venue, and a LEED-certified Platinum educational center and community kitchen. This video paints a nice portrait of the group’s passion and big ideas:
As long as I’m highlighting righteous agricultural nonprofits in Seattle, I have to mention Seattle Tilth – part of Washington Tilth Association a group with deep roots in Northwest organic and sustainable agriculture. From their web site:
Seattle Tilth inspires and educates people to garden organically, conserve natural resources and support local food systems in order to cultivate a healthy urban environment and community. Our vision is to transform the NW region into the organic gardening capital of the world.
Lisa Taylor, the Education Program Manager for Seattle Tilth, recently assembled a fantastic book called “Your Farm In The City: An Urban Dweller’s Guide to Growing Food and Raising Animals”.
It’s a deeply informative book – velvety in texture and rich with pretty illustration – and one of you lucky readers will have a chance to have your very own copy by commenting on this post! Tell us what you’ve had the most success growing in the city – or in a container – to be entered. The lucky recipient will be chosen on Wednesday, June 22nd.
One visit I was really looking forward to never happened because of a mishap with the camper van. Long, boring story with a less-than-tragic ending – we never made it to Jennie Grant’s urban homestead and world headquarters of The Goat Justice League…Whimper… Justice League Blues…If you’ve been reading the HOMEGROWN blog for a while, you already know about the GJL, but for the uninformed, The Goat Justice League was founded out of Jennie’s own struggle to secure official permission for raising dairy goats (mini-LaManchas) on her 4000-square-foot urban lot. The web site has tons of information, tips and recommendations for other interested urban goat keepers, so check it out.
The thing that brought us to Seattle to begin with is The Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA. This two-day extravaganza of exhibits, workshops and lectures was a magnet for some of the most friendly, passionate, knowledgeable sustainable living folks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. We had so many wonderful conversations with people who fall all along the spectrum of experience and skills. All are energetic and motivated to make change that starts in their own back yards. We handed out our HOMEGROWN How-to cards, told people about our little online community, and I managed to wrangle and herd about 30 very excited children in a seedball-making workshop. My apologies to the rug cleaners who had to deal with the aftermath.
We spent the last day in Seattle seeking peace and relaxation and found it in the Japanese gardens at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens. The Azalea were past their prime, but the Rhododendron, Iris and Wisteria were at peak bloom on this (surprise) sunny Seattle day. Highly recommended. More photos of our time in Seattle are on the HOMEGROWN Flickr page.
Next up for us: several good nights of sleep in our own bed – whoohoo!