Tag Archives: farming

Beacon Bits: cerveza, soccer, and STEM

Now customers at El Quetzal can have beer with dinner. Photo by Jason.
El Quetzal, 3209 Beacon Avenue South, has been approved for a liquor license in the category “Restaurant – beer.” Now you can have a cerveza with your torta.

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Seattle Soccer Club members are looking for players to join them for a pick-up soccer game at the old Van Asselt Elementary School tomorrow, Saturday, January 23, at noon. (If the field is occupied, they’ll move across the street to the Van Asselt Community Center.) Players of all levels are welcome. Details are on their Meetup page.

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The South Seattle Beacon discusses Cleveland High School’s new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) option program that will open this fall. In the article, principal Princess Shareef expresses some worry that Beacon Hill families near Cleveland might not take advantage of the STEM program’s availability: “The teachers and families want it to remain diverse, but when we have community meetings, families from our community haven’t been showing up… I want the Beacon Hill community to understand what is going to be happening here and for them to consider having their kids be students here.” Cleveland is hosting an open house for the STEM program tomorrow, January 23, from 10:00 am – noon, at 5511 15th Avenue South. (via Seattle Public Schools community blog)

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Urban farmer (and MacArthur Genius Fellow) Will Allen is visiting Seattle on February 3 for a series of events promoting urban farming to help Seattle residents gain access to healthy food.

At 7:00 pm he’ll be at Mercer Middle School for “Inside the Urban Farmer’s Studio,” a free, community-wide discussion about food, urban farming, and food policy.

You can find out more about Allen and the February 3 events at the Delridge Grassroots Leadership website.

Beacon Hill past and present: Hothouse no more

East end of Antonio Ditore's hothouse, 1817 21st Avenue South, showing the high water mark after a flood in May, 1923. Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives.
East end of Antonio Ditore's hothouse, 1817 21st Avenue South, showing the high water mark after a flood in May, 1923. Courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives.

The same site today, no longer growing much.
The same site today, no longer growing much.

At first glance this is one of the less-recognizable past/present photos we have. In 1923, there was a considerable amount of farming in this lower Beacon Hill/upper Rainier Valley area, an Italian neighborhood, but now this spot just off Rainier Avenue, in the 1800 block of 21st Avenue South, is just a big ugly warehouse.

Still, something has survived. See the apartment building behind Mr. Ditore’s hot house? If you move just a bit further north on 21st, you can see it:

It’s the blue apartment building shown here. The house directly south of the apartment building made it to the 21st century, but, sadly, was just recently demolished. (You can still see it — a charming little bungalow — in Google’s Street View, though. The house seen in our photo just south of the apartment building is not the same house — it’s one lot further south.)

The Polk Directory for Seattle in 1923 lists Antonio Ditore, a gardener, and his wife Grace residing at this address. Though the 1923 photo is captioned “E. Ditore,” this seems likely to be Antonio. You can read more about Antonio Ditore, one of the farmers who sold at the Pike Place Market on its opening day in 1907, and see a picture of him years later with his garlic crop. (Scroll down to the post by John Ditore.)