Friday, May 21, 2010

Atlantic City Nursery visit by Mayor McGinn

This past Saturday morning I hopped on my bike and rolled down the hill to welcome Mayor McGinn as he toured the Atlantic City Nursery, a property in Rainier Beach formerly operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation. For the past few months I've been working with a group of friends, neighbors and urban agriculture advocates, called Friends of the Atlantic City Nursery (FACN), to advocate for turning the site into a working urban farm, following a model based loosely on Will Allen's work with Growing Power.

The mayor's visit was a significant step in a planning process that started last year, when Seattle Parks declared that they would no longer be using the nursery and issued a call to the public for ideas on future uses for the site. Since hearing this announcement less than a year ago, FACN has organized neighbors and leveraged funding sources, done extensive outreach and led a successful community visioning meeting in March. (I should mention that my involvement has been pretty minimal until this point- I've really only helped orchestrate community events, I can't take any credit for the work happening behind the scenes or for shaping the broader vision)!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A bicycle fence

Gardening season is upon us, and Chad and I have been enjoying our first season in our garden.  We've put a lot of work into installing raised beds, planting seeds, and watching our little plants grow. 

Since our vegetables are in their infancy and therefore very delicate, we've been trying to keep Lexi and other furry creatures out of the beds to avoid trampling.  None of our methods, to date, have worked, so we're going to build a fence around the beds- something small and not too tall, but enough of a separation to delineate the space.  We have some parameters, of course.  First, we have a very small budget for this project, and conventional fencing supplies seem to add up in a hurry.  Second, I would love something that upcycles a material otherwise destined for a landfill.  I also want something that is aesthetically pleasing and has meaning for us, something kind of funky and personal, something not mass produced.... something involving bicycles!  Last summer while on a bike tour of the San Juans, I spotted this fence at the Hub Community Bike Shop Cooperative in Bellingham: 
(photo from my own collection)