Monday, January 3, 2011

Re-launch and official site

Hey there folks--
Google has shoved our old blog to the top of the search results, so while we sort that out, here are links to where you can find our current sites.

The main Edible Seattle magazine site is at www.edibleseattle.com.

And here's a direct link to our Fresh Sheet blog.

--Cheers from the Edible Seattle team--

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Work Party on Earth Day

Earth Day is fast approaching and we're in the midst of a big redesign of our primary website (which includes the calendar). There's a fun volunteer opportunity coming up, thanks to PCC Farmland Trust and Growing Things Farm. Check it out, get muddy on Earth Day and have some tasty snacks while you're at it. Here's their invite:

Join PCC Farmland Trust and Growing Things Farm for a day of constructing hoop houses and learning about sustainable agriculture. Bring your boots, a shovel, your work gloves and a willingness to help local farmer, Michaele Blakely, get ready for the season. Light refreshments will be provided. The weather this time of year can be unpredictable, so please make sure to bring work clothes, and rain gear, hats, etc. if needed.

Where: Growing Things Farm
27307 NE 100th
Carnation, WA
When: Sunday April 19th 10-3pm
Why: Because we love our farmers!

To sign up, please contact Melissa Campbell at melissa.campbell@pccsea.com or 206-547-9855 OR RSVP on the Farmland Trust Facebook Page.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Marra Farms

Just found a video clip from January on the Seattle Channel. Can't figure out a way to embed the video here, but clicking this link should take you to a lovely 8-minute story about Marra Farms--its history, its programs, and its amazing coordinator, Sue McGann.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Yard Waste

In a few more weeks, a great new change will take effect with yard waste collection in Seattle. We've been able to compost plant-based food scraps for about a year, but beginning March 30, we can add meats and dairy items to the same yard waste bin: bones, milk, cheese and shells. Not all homes and apartments are signed up with yard waste service, but even the largest container is less than $7/month. Across the three standard sizes of residential cans, yard waste disposal rates are about half the cost of garbage.

My 16-unit condo building has had reasonable success with composting food scraps; right now, I think less than half the building composts, but seven households diverting food from the standard waste bin is a great start. Education is the main issue with the other folks--but since the rules are less complicated than they used to be, hopefully everyone can improve. And if you live in a condo or apartment and don't currently use a yard waste bin or it's not big enough for everyone to use it, talk to your HOA board or landlords and get the building signed up. Imagine a whole building's worth of pizza boxes every month--and now imagine all of them getting turned into compost.

You can find all the information at the Seattle Public Utilities.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Facebook

You can find our facebook page here. Link in with many of our magazine contributors and national Edible Community publications.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2009 Local Heroes

The votes were collected online last fall, and were tallied in January. Congratulations to our 2009 Local Heroes:
Farmer/Farm: Skagit River Ranch
Chef/Restaurant: Maria Hines at Tilth
Food Artisan: Estrella Family Creamery
Beverage Artisan: Rockridge Orchards
Nonprofit: Cascade Harvest Coalition

You can read what we have to say about them right here.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Buzz

I recently watched River Cottage Spring and River Cottage Fall, and am totally delighted with two projects I saw on the series: guerilla gardening, and urban beekeeping. I wondered if such things were going on around Seattle.

The bees were the easy part: Yes, it's legal to keep bees in many cities around Puget Sound. I've enjoyed talking to representatives from the Puget Sound Beekeeper's Association when I've seen them at the Puyallup Spring Fair, but it never occurred to me to wonder whether it's possible to keep a hive in the middle of Capitol Hill. If my building's shared gardening space was a few feet bigger, the answer would be yes. Each city has its own rules, of course. Here's the PSBA website if you're interested. Not only does it seem satisfying as a hobby, but having healthy hives around will help keep neighborhood gardens and native plants in proper shape. (And I see the PSBA sells honey at a few places around town. I'm looking forward to trying it.)

Guerilla gardening is less specific, but the idea is simple: Grow something on otherwise unused land. A fully legal version of this exists in Seattle, in the form of "traffic calming devices", also known as roundabouts. Most of these are a concrete ring filled with dirt, and are officially maintained by neighborhood volunteers; in areas with a high number of renters, it can be hard to keep track of who said they'd do what--and of course, like all volunteer projects, results are unpredictable.

After a year of complaining about the overgrown mess that was my "traffic calming device", I took matters into my own hands and pruned trees, ripped up half of a euphorbia jungle, and planted several dozen mini daffodil bulbs, for some low-growing color. After hauling away a bag of trash and five giant yard waste bins, I got online and realized what I'd just done was not only legal, it was encouraged. You can register as a volunteer for one in your neighborhood.
There are basic common-sense rules about keeping good lines of sight, and the city is in favor of low-water-use plantings, but there are fairly simple ways to add some edibility to the roundabouts. Culinary lavender is an easy choice; so are nasturtiums and all sorts of thyme and rosemary. Fruit trees or smaller blueberry bushes could work, too, if you're willing to provide some extra water.

There are other ways to guerilla garden. I've seen a few fenced-in lots filled with wildflowers within walking distance, and I bet people have been lobbing seeds over the tops of the chain links. A piece from Crosscut gives a few suggestions on how you can make this happen in your neighborhood.

Starting in a few more weeks, I'm going to be posting photos of spots on my street that has turned the planting strip into an "urban bird sanctuary." Not only are the plants lovely, they feed birds all year long--purple and Cassin's finches, northern flickers, bushtits, nuthatches, and several kinds of sparrows and chickadees. The only real maintenance is in the winter--lots of pruning and leaf clean-up.