Sheet Mulching Hands-on Workshop

Posted by on Jul 29 2009 | Tagged as: Announcements, Green Choices, Permaculture, Urban Gardening

Sheet Mulching Hands-on Workshop
Saturday August 8, 2009  9 to 12
Kit and Dennis Galvin’s Lawn

Sustainable Crown Hill is putting on a Sheet Mulching and Lasagna Gardening Workshop.  These are methods for converting lawn and other areas into the healthy soil and garden space the easy way.  This workshop is for both people wanting to learn and those who are ‘old hands’.   Bring your curiosity, questions, and experience to share.  Using layers of different materials including cardboard, straw, manure, burlap, and even feathers, we will put into practice what we’ve learned help to covert a lawn to future garden space.

Please wear  garden clothes and sturdy shoes.  Work or garden gloves will be a plus.
For directions and information contact Kit at or 206.706.7663 evenings and weekends

Local strawberries

Posted by on Jun 05 2009 | Tagged as: Food, Urban Gardening

First strawberries of the season

First strawberries of the season

Woohoo! The first strawberries of the season are now maturing in our yards thanks to the heat of the last few weeks. We can soon expect to see Washington state berries in our local supermarkets and farmer’s markets. The imported California strawberries have suffered long enough on their journey up here and are far from their prime by the time they reach our mouths.  Strawberries lose flavor pretty quickly after picking, so the ones from your garden can’t be beat. Though usually smaller than the monster berries from the supermarket, the flavor of those freshly picked from your garden trump all.

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Escargot anyone???

Posted by on Jun 05 2009 | Tagged as: Green Choices, Urban Gardening

Snail (Helix aspersa on Hosta leaf)

Snail (Helix aspersa on Hosta leaf)

Caught this not so little snail (25 mm high, 35 mm diameter) in the garden this morning rapidly devouring a Hosta leaf. Looks like the snail found all over California brought to this continent for eating purposes.

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Next Meeting, June 7th 2009

Posted by on Jun 02 2009 | Tagged as: Announcements, Permaculture, Urban Gardening

Hi All,

The Sustainable Crown Hill meeting is coming up this Sunday.  Bert will be giving his 2nd talk on permaculture starting at 3 PM, around 5:30 or 6 we will break for our potluck, and then start the meeting.

Heidi and Bert’s house
9524 – 1/2 12th Ave NW
(on the paved alley off 12th south of 96th St)

Please send any agenda items to me, Carol Kennedy.

See you this Sunday,

Carol K.

Gardener Conditioning

Posted by on Mar 22 2009 | Tagged as: Food, Humor, Local Fun, Urban Gardening

For all of you Crown Hill gardeners out there, here’s a tip for improving your conditioning and reducing the chance of injury as you sprint out for the precious few available gardening hours between snow storms. This comes from Ann Lovejoy’s excellent article on the Ozette potato in the former PI. I don’t know how long it will be available online at the PI website:

I recently learned of another way to enjoy potatoes that doesn’t involve eating or growing them. A friend shared the following suggested exercise for seniors to build muscle strength in the arms and shoulders.

The original article suggested doing it three times a week. It’s so easy, I thought I’d pass it on.

Begin by standing on a comfortable surface where you have plenty of room at each side. With a 5-pound potato sack in each hand, extend your arms straight out from your sides and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax. Each day, you’ll find that you can hold this position for just a bit longer.

After a couple of weeks, move up to 10-pound potato sacks. Then use 50-pound potato sacks, and eventually try to get to where you can lift a 100-pound potato sack in each hand and hold your arms straight for more than a full minute.

After you feel confident at that level, put a potato in each of the sacks.

And if you’re looking for music to memorialize the death of the PI,  former Seattle-ite Heidi Muller has this finely crafted contribution “Goodnight PI” to mark the passage.

The First Garden Tomato of the Season

Posted by on Aug 10 2008 | Tagged as: Urban Gardening

In Seattle, we often wait quite a while for that first “real” tomato from the garden while our friends in California, Eastern Washington, and climes warmer have been enjoying fresh, homegrown tomatoes since early June. And cherry tomatoes really don’t count — try slicing cherry tomatoes for a sandwich ;) . This year’s first tomato was plucked from the garden on August 8th. Finally, we can have truly local tomatoes when they are the sweetest and far better than even the Eastern Washington tomatoes available so far at “local” farmers markets. We have enough plants to can the surplus fruit we cannot eat as quickly as it ripens. There is nothing like opening a jar of homegrown tomatoes in the doldrums of February to cook into a marvelously sweet pasta sauce.

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Community Fruit Harvest

Posted by on Jul 30 2008 | Tagged as: Announcements, Green Choices, Urban Gardening

As your eyes and your bellies now know, fruit season is back again! We’d like to continue the work that we started last fall in gathering unwanted fruit from neighborhood trees and donating it to local food banks. We gathered several hundred pounds last year as part of the larger city effort that gathered about 18,000 pounds! Here’s how you can help:
  1. If you have fruit you won’t be using, let me know and when it will be ripe.
  2. If you know a neighbor who has a tree that they might be willing to donate from, go ask them and then let me know.
  3. If you’d like to join in on a picking session one weekday evening or weekend day in the next few months – you guessed it – let me know!
You can reach me by email ( or by phone (206-388-2781).
Here’s what I’ll do:
  1. Put together a list of trees that need to be picked.
  2. When one or more trees is ready to be picked I’ll send out a call to everyone that has said they’d be willing to pick to show up at a certain time and place if they’re able.
  3. Make sure we’ve got the tools and supplies we need to pick, package, and deliver everything to the food bank.
Sounds to easy to be true – it is!! Food banks will always tell you that fresh fruits and veggies are what the area’s hungry rarely get. We can help. Come join in if you can.

One urban garden in mid-July….

Posted by on Jul 20 2008 | Tagged as: Urban Gardening

Elephant Garlic ScapeNow that Juneuary is finally over, the tomatoes have begun pushing beyond the confines of their cages, and the profusion of blossoms of the last few weeks have begun to set fruit. The elephant garlic flowers (scapes) are now over my head, and the hardneck and softneck garlic plants are yellowing, beckoning a harvest. The bean tendrils have just reached the bottom rung of their hastily constructed trellises (about a foot off the ground) and well beyond the reach of the slugs and towhees which hampered their early growth. It seems the plants in our little garden change each time we walk out, elongating reaching for sun and warmth, changing color, ultimately closer to our kitchen.

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