APPLY NOW TO Get a Veggie Garden in South Park/Georgetown/Delridge

Live in South Park/Georgetown/Delridge?
Low Income?
Get a Veggie Garden on May 16!

 

Seattle Tilth’s Just Garden program is seeking people who are interested in growing some of their own food but can’t afford the start-up costs of building their own garden. On May 16, thirty raised bed gardens will be built in backyards and also apartment buildings, senior centers, schools, houses of worship or community centers (with the permission of the management) for people who have low incomes (qualify for food stamps). If that’s you and you live in South Park, Georgetown or Delridge (east of Delridge Way SW), we will build you a garden! Find out more about our garden building event.

 

The value of materials and staff time for each 4’x8’ garden bed is about $500, butwe ask for only a $25 contribution per bed from each garden recipient, thanks to funding from King County’s Green Grant program. This also includes four free seminars on beginning organic gardening, which will cover the basics of soils and soil building, year-round gardening, crop rotation and integrated pest management and composting. We want gardeners to help gardeners have a successful start gardening!
Are you interested or know someone who might be? Apply now — applications are due by Thursday, April 30 at the absolute latest.

 

Volunteer!
We are also seeking volunteers — lend a hand! It’s on Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Afterwards share a celebratory lunch with everyone involved. Make sure to dress for dirty work and weather. Email justgarden@seattletilth.org.

Earth Week Barbeque and Fun

WSTL BBQ Poster

Celebrate Earth Week with your neighbors at the West Seattle Tool Library!

Save the Date, Sunday, April 19th from noon to 4pm for fun and food.

Activities for the whole family include,

    Healthy local foods BBQ, including veggies, burgers, brats, and delicious side dishes-Kids seed start and worm farming-Free garden tool sharpening and wheel barrow repairs-Free DIYBIKES.org bicycle repair clinics-Bio Char demonstrations-West Seattle Tool Library membership discounts-and for the current members, LATE TOOL RETURN AMNESTY!

Indoors or Outdoors at the Youngstown Cultural and Arts Center, 4408 Delridge Way SW.

Recommended donations $10 individual or $20 Family family-bbq-md

Start Earth Week off by celebrating the success of the West Seattle Tool Library on Sunday April 19th from noon to 4pm. The West Seattle Tool Library is a project of Sustainable West Seattle and provides tools for DIY projects as well as for community organizations working toward an earth friendly society.

Buy CSA Shares in West Seattle’s Urban MicroFarms

CSA_Kale

What a cool project, Urban Flex Farms is a collective of “micro-farms” in West Seattle that provide as-fresh-as-you-can-get produce delivered right to your home. Urban Flex Farms partners with homeowners in WS to turn yards into micro-farm sites that grow fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. They have extended their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Early Bird Special until March 15th. Here’s whats in the box when you join the CSA:

CSA

 

If you have any questions about the program, contact them at UrbanFlexFarms@gmail.com and check out their website:  www.UrbanFlexFarms.com

Meaningful Movies Saturday Feb.7th

Meaningful Movies follow up.

A very informative series of shorts about urban food in 3 cities across America. The connection between food and social justice became very clear. There were also informative displays about Seattle Tilth, Community Orchard of West Seattle (COWS), and Puget Ridge Edible Park (PREP)
Next month the movie is a very in depth documentary about money in politics.
mmprep mmcowsmmfoodmmpeople

 

 

 

 

Saturday, February 7
West Seattle Meaningful Movies presents
Urban Gardeners & Social Justice Heroes

We will screen a number of short videos that highlight the work of innovative urban farming leaders who grow food in cities AND help make their communities greener, healthier, more socially just, and happier.

6:30 Doors open for snacks and social time.
7:00 Movies start. Followed by community announcements and a facilitated conversation.

Meet local urban gardeners and hear about their efforts in West Seattle and other neighborhoods.
Learn how you can participate or get support to grow your own garden.

At High Point Neighborhood House
6400 Sylvan Way SW, Seattle 98126
Bus numbers 21 and 128

NO CHARGE, but donations gratefully received.
Help us minimize waste—bring your own mug.

The videos will feature the work of these heroes and others:
Will Allen with Growing Power in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Majora Carter, urban revitalization strategist

Stephen Ritz with Green Bronx Machine, which works with high school students

Ron Finley in Los Angeles

Stu’s News: You and Carbon Pollution!

carbon neutralby Stu Hennessey*

If you have had any concern over the changing climate and the extreme weather events that have been making headlines you have probably felt frustration over not being in a position to challenge the big corporate polluters. The good news is that we are more in control of carbon pollution and its effect on the climate than most people realize.

People like you and I actually emit nearly twice the carbon pollution than industrial America. We also pollute in a manner that is hard to capture. We are non point source polluters. NPSPs. That means the pollution we emit comes from a variety of source points like individual cars or lawn mowers or woodstoves. Our source points are so spread out and numerous that it would be impossible to capture or cap what we emit. Where as a corporate polluter will usually have a single stack or source point that could be capped and sequestered.

We know there are cleaner ways to run the world’s industries but until we can afford a corporate takeover and finance the industrial change-over to clean energy we can only work on our own solutions. I find it very empowering to know that individual education and efforts can reduce nearly two thirds of the world’s carbon pollution. Whether it is by using alternatives to fossil fuel transportation or reducing our home energy consumption or limiting the distance a product we consume travels to the cash register we can make a huge difference. Here are ten ideas you could employ:

  • Reduce your travel emissions by riding a bicycle. Using the transit system or trading in the gas guzzler for an electric vehicle.
  • Reduce your home energy costs by turning down the thermostat or buying a programmable thermostat. Choosing a smaller more efficient home. Switching to LED lighting. Turning off all electric devices when not in use.
  • Shopping Local, buying products that are being manufactured closer to home or have been offered for reuse. Shopping at local businesses near where you live. Smaller businesses with smaller carbon footprints.
  • Eat locally grown food. Join a Community Supported Agriculture subscription. Join a community garden group or P Patch. Turn your yard into your own food supply.
  • Plant trees! Trees eat carbon dioxide and in return release oxygen. Most trees have been removed to make room for our cities. Please replace them.
  • Support government and non government organizations that offer alternatives to the archaic fossil fuel era. We can fast track our independence from fossil fuels.
  • Reduce all forms of consumer waste. Buy bulk! Buy what you need. Buy what will make you less of a carbon non point source.
  • Recycle: This is where we show what gains we have already accomplished. Good Job NPSPs.
  • Compost: Another area where great strides have been made.
  • De-carbonize your image. Our image is important to us but is it a bigger is better image that we should strive for. Is the bigger car, bigger house, wealthy-enough-to-be-carbon-foolish image the one that matters?   Imagine yourself at one with a carbon neutral earth.

* Stu Hennessey is a board member of Sustainable West Seattle and is an active cyclist and member of Spokespeople.  Stu operates and owns Alki Bike and Board in West Seattle’s Admiral District.

Save the Date!! Tool Library Annual Fundraiser Party – FESTIVUS – Dec. 5

Tool Library Fundraiser Poster_2014_finalThe West Seattle Tool Library announces our second annual fundraiser gala.

Now in its 5th year of providing free tools, advice and workshop space to the community on a donation basis, the West Seattle Tool Library is holding its second annual fundraiser.

The fundraiser, which will also serve as Sustainable West Seattle’s annual winter holiday party, will be held Friday, December 5, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm at the SoDo MakerSpace, 1914 Occidental Ave SAll net proceeds will go to the maintenance of tool library operations, as well as potential enhancements such as extended hours and more classes. 

The fundraiser, continuing with last year’s theme of a “Festivus” party, will be a gala with a dinner buffet, beer, wine, soft drinks, music, an environmental poetry slam, a raffle, kid activities, and a tool sale. In addition, discounts will be offered on tool library lifetime memberships, and members who have tool library items they’ve been meaning to return will be offered amnesty for any returned tools. No fines and no questions asked!

Everyone is welcome. No cover charge except for a voluntary suggested donation for food. 

You Can Help Too!

Donations and volunteer help, including day-of setup help for the fundraiser, are still needed. If you are an individual or business with an item you’d like to donate for the raffle or are interested in volunteering, please contact us at library@wstoollibrary.org. Food and beverage donations are also welcome. Donors will be recognized at the event. 

Tool Library Facts

Since opening in the summer of 2010, the West Seattle Tool Library has built an inventory of more than 2,500 tools, signed up more than 2,000 members, facilitated over 13,000 loans,offered many classes and served as the home of the Fixer’s Collective and Ask an Expert night. It has been a model to many other tool libraries that have opened in the Puget Sound region and beyond, and received positive media attention as an example of the type of sharing economy projects needed to make the world more sustainable. It is a nonprofit project of Sustainable West Seattle. You can learn more and check out our inventory at wstoollibrary.org.

Learn Sustainable Garden & Water Management Practices @ UW Botanic Center Classes

UW Botanic GardenLandscape for Life™ demystifies sustainability for home gardeners

The University of Washington Botanic Gardens is hosting four Thursday evening classes on sustainable garden practices and water management.  The classes are on Thursday, September 25  through October 16, and start at 6:30 pm and end at 9:00 pm.

Are you a homeowner who wants to create and maintain your own healthy, sustainable landscape? Through instructor-led presentations, class discussions, and activities, you will deepen your understanding of how to get the most out of water in your garden, how to build healthy soils with minimal outside inputs, how to use native and climate-adapted plants for the Pacific Northwest, and how to find the most environmentally-friendly landscape materials. Students will analyze their own home landscape focusing on soils, water, plants, and use of materials. Landscape for LifeTM was developed by the US Botanical Garden and Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center to the University of Texas in Austin.

There is a cost, $125 before September 19, and $150 after. You can Register Online or call 206-685-8033 to register.

The classes will be taught by instructor Barbara DeCaro, a horticulturist working for Seattle Parks and Recreation. She develops best practices for managing public landscapes and provides training programs in landscape management for parks staff. She is a certified Instructor for Landscape for LifeTM and also develops teaching materials and provides instruction for the landscape industry in the ecoPRO – Sustainable Landscape Professional Program. Barbara is a life-long gardener and life-long learner, with over 40 years working in public gardens and landscapes.[mappress mapid=”539″]

Annual SWS Picnic: Eat, Enjoy Community Orchard, Learn, Drink, Socialize, Share

COWs-overviewCome see what were up to. The Sustainable West Seattle annual picnic is Thursday August 21st.

This year the picnic will be held at the Community Orchard of West Seattle.  The Community Orchard is a project of SWS and is located on the South Seattle College campus at the north end adjacent to the Horticulture Center.

Start time for the picnic is 6:00pm and will continue until 9:00 pm.

The address is 6000 16th Ave. SW, use the North Entrance to the college campus and then head east toward the orchard and greenbelt area.  Bus access is through Metro Routes 125 and 128. Buses stop at the central entrance to the college.  You will need to walk to the northern end, which is about a 5 minute walk.

Come tour the orchard, hike through the arboretum, press some apples for cider and blend some smoothies on a pedal powered blender.

Bring chairs, reusable or compostable plates and utensils and a main dish or salad to share or something to throw on the grill. We will provide charcoal grills, tables, drinks and musical entertainment.

This is an after-hours weekday event, we hope to see you there!

Delridge Grocery Coop Launches Fresh Fruits & Vegetables Farmstand

DelridgeGroceryWebLogoThe Delridge Grocery Coop has exciting news to announce: The Friday Farmstand launches this week!

Finally – fresh, local, sustainable fruits and vegetables in Delridge.

Come by every Friday all summer from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm at 5435 Delridge Way SW.  This is two doors south of the library, and across the street from Delridge Grocery Coop’s future full-service grocery location.

Celebrate the launch this Friday, July 18th, with free lemonade at the farmstand, and a fun comedy event afterwards from 8-12 at the Skylark Cafe.

  • Want to be more involved? 
  • Volunteer and take home free produce!

Help run the produce stand and take home some leftovers! It’s easy and fun, and we’ll provide training.

Sign up for volunteer shifts online

Join the Canning Club!

Do you like canning pickles and jams to save for the winter? Join Friday Farmstand Canning Club and get first crack and discount prices on bulk quantities of leftover produce!

To sign up, email Farmstand Manager Ariana at taylorstanley@gmail.com with your name and phone number. You must be available to pick-up produce after the farmstand, at 7:30 pm on Fridays.

Need a lesson in canning? Check out offerings from Seattle Tilth or Delridge’s own Little Red Hen Project.

Help the Delridge Grocery Coop Spread the word!

They need lots of word-of-mouth marketing to make this farmstand a success! How you can help:

For more information contact Ariana Taylor-Stanley, Farmstand Manager, at 206-660-8958, or by email at

taylorstanley@gmail.com.

Energy Blog: World of Tomorrow-2047: Earth & Mars On Different Paths

In a Climate Changed World: Chapter 3 – By Andy Silber
August 24th, 2047
ICE3 Station, Greenland

Greenland harborToday the ship has come to pick us up. For over two decades I’ve been here keeping the glaciers from flowing into the ocean. The press release talked about the cost and better ways to spend our resources, but we know the real reason. Once the rains came, it was hopeless. At first we only had to deal with the melting ice and refreeze whatever made it to the ground. That we could do and keep the water from lubricating the glaciers and speeding their path to the ocean. Once a year or so, a pipe would break and need to be replaced. Once the rains came, we could only turn the water to slush, which lubricated the ice and there was nothing we could do to slow the inevitable march to the sea. Now our pipes are breaking every month. It’s just a matter of years, maybe a decade, until Greenland is ice free. It actually doesn’t matter whether the ice melts or not. Once it is floating, rather than resting on land, the seas go up.

It seems like it was a lifetime ago that I was in the NOAA Corp and I told one of the researchers I was interested in glaciers. He suggested I volunteer for the Greenland Ice Dam project. I was here when the power line came in from Iceland, when the drilling started, when the fusion reactor went online. I’m the only one left from those early days. I’ve spent half of the last 20 years on this rock, 10 days on, 10 days off.

[see author’s note at end][Read Chapter 2][read Chapter 4]

After growing up in Akron, who would have imagined I would have spent half my adult life in Greenland and the other half in Iceland. I’m not quite ready to retire, but I’ve been too busy to think about what’s next. Maybe I’ll make up for being away from my wife, Emelía, and stay home and putter in the garden. I could write a book about the history of the ice dams, in the spirit of “My Life in Kenya” by Lionel Hardcastle. Sara is in college in Rejevik and Aron is busy on his aqua farm, so it would be quiet, but not as quiet as Greenland.

When the fish stocks crashed, Iceland was one of the most impacted countries in the world. Only 1% of the country is arable, so much of the food has always come from the sea. Modern sea farming was born in Iceland, out of necessity. Aron loves tending his kelp and sea grass and harvesting the fish who live there. Fishing has become like raising cattle or sheep: tend the land; harvest the animal. One funny thing is Iceland is one of the few places where our accessible land is increasing. Rising sea levels have been compensated by melting glaciers. Of course, none of that land is suitable for farming: it’s just rock that’s scraped clean of anything resembling soil.aquaculture

Maybe the ice dams have bought us enough time. Dikes have been built, people have migrated uphill or inland. The glaciologists estimate that the ice dams bought us at least five years and maybe ten. That sounds like a good investment to me. Now that the glaciers are moving.

At least a boat came to pick us up. When the MEP closed up shop, we left the Martians on Mars. The terraforming is going well, so maybe that’s for the best. Once a week they broadcast a status report and it’s the highlight of my week. I guess I connect with them, since we’re both on a barren, isolated rock. The difference is I get to go home to the “lushness” of Iceland every month. On Mars the algae is doing well, the asteroids continue to bring them water and there’s even a patch of grass thriving in Ylla. You can’t walk around without a rebreather, but they have hope. The population was 8,500 when the Ark stopped coming, now it’s 9,200. Those children are the real Martians; the ones who have never lived on Earth. They’ve even started building things that they can no longer count on getting from Earth. Raw materials will be the easy part: they’ve already sampled the meteorites from the terraforming effort and they’ve got enough metals, including rare-earth metals, to keep them busy for generations.

I can’t help but feel that the closing of MEP is part of a bigger, scarier development. The progress of civilization has been about an expanding sense of Us as opposed to Them. First it was family, then clan, village, town, city, country. The Mars Exploration Program was the ultimate realization of that: every country in the world sent people to Mars, expanding Us to including not only everyone on Earth, but also everyone on Mars. I believe that this was the pinnacle of human civilization. Since then it’s been nothing but contraction. International trade has dropped, since many ports have shut down due to the rising sea level. Travel is less common, both because of cost and fear of spreading diseases. Our focus has turned inward and it seems to become more closed every year.

The harvesting of the northern bogs for fertilizer has reduced the fires and been used to halt the desertification that was happening as rain patterns shifted and the globe heated. It’s slow going, but it has already reduced the fires enough that atmospheric CO2 levels have started to drop for the first time in about 250 years. At this rate, in 30 years we’ll be back down to 400 ppm.

Irish bog farmingOur ship is in port. All of the critical materials have been loaded on board. Most everything is being left behind. The fusion reactors have been decommissioned and we’re running just on the HVDC line from Iceland. Given my veteran status, I’ve been given the dubious honor of throwing the switch that turns everything remaining off. It’s like pulling the plug on the life-support on a loved one: it’s painful, but you know that the time has come and it’s the right thing to do. Good-bye old friend.

I’m trying something different than my previous blog posts here. Rather than describing current technologies or policy questions or what I think we should do, here I’m delving into speculative fiction: what do I think might be in store for us if we continue on our current path. This is definitely not a best case scenario, but I don’t believe it’s the worst case either. On a scale of 1 (your grandchildren are going to live in a world that resembles “The Road” ) and 10 (Technology will save the day and it’s not too late), I’d probably give this a … now that would be a spoiler. 

I’m writing this in installments in the spirit of Dickens and Bradbury’s “The Martian Chronicles”. Unlike them, I’m not a great writer, so I don’t expect to win a Nobel, Pulitzer, Hugo or a Newbery. But maybe this will be made into a mini-series on SyFy. Also, for fans of classic science fiction, I’ve thrown in some references or out-right theft. 

I hope you enjoy the first piece of fiction that I’ve written that wasn’t assigned in school. – Andy Silber