West Seattle Edible Garden Fair: Hundreds really dug it!

From the sun-splashed courtyard on the north end of the South Seattle Community College campus, stretching into several rooms of the adjacent Horticulture Building, today’s first-ever West Seattle Edible Garden Fair drew hundreds to learn more about how to “grow your own groceries,” as the promotional slogan went. We visited in the final hour; organizer Aviva Furman from Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle said they’d had a great day. Same thing we heard from many participants – like Sandy Pederson from Urban Land Army:

She’s posing there in front of her Land Link map (explained here) but ULA also presented the “Bucket Brigade” container-gardening table, so popular they ran out of plants and soil, after making dozens of container gardens! Of course, urban farming isn’t just about the plants: Thinking about livestock? Even if you have a small yard, you can keep up to three goats:

Chewee and Amanda were having a bit of a food fight when we stopped by. What they eat, we were told, comes from the Seattle Urban Farm Cooperative, whose mission is “to satisfy demand for local, organic feed and supplies for urban farmers”; check them out on Facebook. Back now to the concept of growing your own: Need some help? These guys have just gone into business:

Shannon and Jason Mullett-Bowlsby are known as The Shibaguyz (on Twitter, @shibaguyz), the Lazy Locavores and the Urban Farming Project (contact info here) – not only are can they consult on your urban-farming project, they’re also having an heirloom tomato sale the next two Saturdays (May 30 and June 6; watch for more info here – more than 1,000 plants, they told us!). Now, you can’t grow plants really well without good soil, so Carrie’s hints about worm composting were invaluable:

She said keeping a worm bin, like the one in the photo, is a lot easier than you might think (here’s info). Bottom line, besides growing tastier, affordable food, edible gardening is also a matter of increased self-sufficiency – which is why it synergizes so well with the display Deb Greer and Karen Berge set up:

That’s a map of the neighborhood-gathering places around West Seattle designated just in case of major emergency. The website they maintain to get out information about West Seattle preparedness, as part of this effort we’ve been covering, is down at the moment but we’ll link it here when it’s back. (Yes, Deb and Karen are gardeners too, and were even giving out samples of organic carrot seeds.) In addition to the outdoor displays, there was a busy slate of simultaneous indoor presentations all day long (as listed here). It all wrapped up just an hour and a half ago.

The Garden Center at SSCC, by the way, adjacent to today’s fair setup, is open 11 am-3 pm every Saturday.

2 Replies to "West Seattle Edible Garden Fair: Hundreds really dug it!"

  • william martin May 24, 2009 (10:13 am)

    This is so awesome – what a forward thinking community – we are going to need these kinds of personal initiative!!!

    If you need support, check out this site that has a free online gardening class and was giving away free heirloom seeds – not sure if they are still doing that, but it’s a great site…


    Also, here is what Dr.Vandana Shiva has to say about the global crisis…


  • homedk May 26, 2009 (10:06 am)

    The emergency preparedness website that was referenced in the article is now back online. The site is called West Seattle Be Prepared & the URL is http://westseattle.bepreparedseattle.info. It provides detailed information about the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs, & also has a HUGE resources section with other emergency planning information.

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