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Help build a greenhouse at El Centro

December 5th, 2013 at 11:14 pm | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Neighbor gaspari5 writes to the Beacon Hill mailing list:

Join some hearty souls as they prep and build the timber foundation for the new greenhouse at the great renovated demonstration garden at El Centro. With many hands working together we’ll be out of the cold sooner.

Saturday. 10:00 am, bring a shovel if you can, and gloves.

Better cold and sunny than rain and wind.

That’s this Saturday, December 7. El Centro de la Raza is located at 2524 16th Ave S,


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Free harvest dinner wraps up a beany summer

October 1st, 2013 at 3:01 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Photo by avlxyz via Flickr/Creative Commons.

By Christina Olson

Want to enjoy a free-for-fall community supper with your neighbors? Then plan on meeting at the Garden House (2336 15th Ave. S.) on Friday, October 11, at 6 p.m. to enjoy what many places in America do when the leaves turn color –- gather for a harvest meal.

This spring and summer the Beacon Hill Garden Club and Rockit Community Arts, with help from the Department of Neighborhoods, co-sponsored a growing project — Beacon, a Hill of Beans! — to encourage neighbors to grow some food for their plates.

You may remember the Bean Bonanza in April, with free seeds, soil, growing advice and the bean buffet. Beanheads were seen at the Cinco de Mayo celebration, and at the Beacon Hill Festival giving away seeds (where we learned the mayor is a beanhead and promised to plant our seeds). We made bean necklaces and constructed bean trellises of Beacon Hill bamboo at the June Beacon Rocks. Then there appeared the installation of demonstration gardens at El Centro (24 planters of heirloom beans) and the Jefferson Community Center (the awesome Beanhenge). Not content with single site bean fun, they then bedecked Beacon Ave storefronts into a Boulevard of Beans with pots of scarlet runners. Neighbors were seen marching around with bean-baggies, to harvest a side for dinner. The Wall of Beans at the Station coffeehouse delighted local hummingbirds—almost an excess of color and nectar!

Now it’s time for the Beanheads to close out the project, celebrate our teamwork and thank the neighbors for their support of our project (hundreds of hours of community work). Please come have supper with us! We’ll have some delicious world bean dishes, salad, cornbread and dessert. There will be seeds to share and swap (not all beans, but plenty of them) and we’ll play some rousing rounds of bingo. Unfortunately Bean-o has declined sponsorship of this event, but we feel “propelled” to carry on.


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Horticulture Open House welcomes community 9/28

September 17th, 2013 at 3:51 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Did you know that there is a facility on South Dakota Street that grows about 200,000 to 250,000 annuals and perennials each year, producing plants to be used in parks and other city landscapes? The Jefferson Horticulture Facility on South Dakota Street propagates these plants that keep Seattle green. On Saturday, September 28, the community is invited to find out more about the facility at the Seattle Parks and Recreation Jefferson Horticulture Facility Open House, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At the Open House, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Parks’ Natural Resources Unit and their role in the city’s specialty gardens, parks and urban forestry. It’s also a chance to learn more about the nearby Beacon Food Forest, and enjoy light refreshments and family activities.

All ages are welcome. The facility is located at 1600 South Dakota Street. For more information on the event, contact Necka Kapesi at necka.kapesi@seattle.gov.

OpenHouse at Hort 9.28


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Help plant demonstration bean garden

May 21st, 2013 at 4:49 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Photo by energyandintensity via Creative Commons/Flickr.

ROCKit Community Arts and the Beacon Hill Garden Club invite neighbors to help plant a demonstration garden at El Centro de la Raza later this week. The garden is planned to feature 24 cedar planters with over 20 varieties of beans, creating “the neighborhood’s first free veggie u-pick.”

Planting starts on Thursday, May 23 from 4-6:30 p.m. and continues on Friday, May 24 at the same time. On Saturday, May 25, the planting party takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers should bring a trowel and gloves; everything else will be provided. El Centro de la Raza is located at 2524 16th Ave. S.


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Beacon: A Hill of Beans at Cinco de Mayo Saturday

May 2nd, 2013 at 5:42 am | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

“Dragon’s Tongue” is one of the heirloom bean varieties available for sale through Beacon: A Hill of Beans. Photo by Andrea Parrish-Geyer via Flickr/Creative Commons.

Christina Olson of the Beacon Hill Garden Club writes:

If you wander over to El Centro Saturday afternoon to enjoy Cinco de Mayo, be sure to stop by the Beacon: A Hill of Beans booth under the big tent. We’ll have free seeds (purple pod pole beans and green bush beans) along with some advice to get you started.

Chat about plans to plant the 24 planters around the parking lot with heritage beans and create Beacon’s first public U-Pick! We are looking for planting help later in the month. And let us tell you about the plans to bedeck the Beacon business district with pots of scarlet runner beans (beware of low flying hummingbirds in these locations)

Finally, shop local with our selection of heirloom seeds (see www.beaconahillofbeans.org for varieties). Mother’s Day is May 12, and Father’s Day is June 16 and everyone loves an unexpected token of friendship, beautifully packaged in envelopes designed by Maura Shapley of local Day Moon Press.

Join us in making Beacon: A Hill of Beans in 2013!


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Bean Bonanza kickstarts summer of bean-growing activities

April 12th, 2013 at 5:36 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Scarlet runner beans photo by Tim Olson, via Creative Commons/Flickr.

The Beacon Hill Garden Club and ROCKiT Community Arts, with help from a Department of Neighborhoods Small Sparks Grant, are kicking off a season of events focused on bean growing with a Bean Bonanza from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 20. The series, Beacon: A Hill of Beans, will include educational, fun, and tasty activities for neighbors at all levels of gardening experience.

Those attending the Bean Bonanza event will leave with free bean seeds, a bucket, bean poles and soil. Other beany activities include a bean “teach-in” with Master Gardener Mick Duggan, a bean haiku contest, bean bag games, a bean buffet, a sale of sample packets of heirloom bean varieties, and more. Attendees will also find out details of the Beautiful Bean photo contest, demonstration gardens, and plans to decorate Beacon Avenue merchant spaces with pots of scarlet runner beans.

Bean events will continue throughout the summer with taste tests, preservation demonstrations, and an autumn bean supper.

Find out more at the website.


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Canning Connection “full of beans” this month

August 19th, 2012 at 8:29 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Photo by Steve A. Johnson via Creative Commons/Flickr.

The Beacon Hill Garden Club is joining with Rainier Valley Eats to present another Canning Connections workshop on Wednesday, August 29 from 7-9 p.m. at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave. S.

According to the Canning Connection folks, “this month we’ll ‘put up’ some of Master Gardener Mick Duggan’s recipe for green beans in mustard sauce and some delicious dilly beans. Both are fantastic with cold summer suppers or on the buffet and picnic table.”

The class is $15 and includes everything but your apron, but it’s limited to 10 students, so you should register soon by emailing ankataa@yahoo.com.

Mark your calendar — the Canning Connections program will be preserving something at the Garden House every fourth Tuesday of each month from now on.


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Learn to grow your own food

August 8th, 2012 at 3:21 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Figs. Photo by Rubber Slippers in Italy via Creative Commons/Flickr.

Summer is moving rapidly toward its end, but it’s not too late to learn to grow your own food. This Saturday, August 11, from 10-11:30 a.m., is another in a series of free “Grow Your Own Groceries” classes at El Centro de la Raza.

This month’s topics include:

  • What to plant Now?
  • Figs and Kiwi
  • Seed Saving

The class is led by Master Gardener Mick Duggan. The location is El Centro de la Raza room 310, 2524 16th Ave. S. Mark your calendar: next month’s class, the last of the year, is scheduled for September 8.


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The Beacon Hill Garden Club wants you!

July 18th, 2012 at 5:08 pm | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The Beacon Hill Garden Club is, as always, welcoming new potential members. According to the group, “We seek to grow a colorful garden of friendships, as well as fruits and flowers! Gardeners of all interests and levels of experience are welcome.”

What do Garden Club members do? In the past, their activities have included movie nights at the Garden House in conjunction with the Beacon Food Forest project, Canning Connections preserving classes (with Rainier Valley Eats), progressive dinners in each others’ gardens, and more.

Currently the group has a few things in the works, including a Save the Whale campaign, to restore the antique whale weathervane to the Garden House roof, and the First Annual “Anywhere but Seafair Caravan”: “Escape the noise, the crowds and the traffic with a field trip to Mount Vernon.” The road trip includes a tour and picnic at Jell-O Mold Farm (flowers) and a visit to the WSU Experiment Station Display Gardens.

The club meets in the evenings on the fourth Thursday of odd months (which would be July 26, this month) at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave. S. Dues are $12 per year. For more information, contact Christina at gaspari5@msn.com.


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Shredding, gardening, and fighting foreclosures this Saturday

July 12th, 2012 at 5:55 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Saturday, July 14, is a busy day. Along with the Jefferson Park Jubilee, there are three other events on the Hill you should know about.

From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Verity Credit Union is hosting its annual community Shred-a-Thon on at their Beacon Hill location, 1660 S. Columbian Way on the VA hospital campus. All are welcome to bring sensitive documents such as old checks or pay stubs to be shredded on site as you watch. A minimum $10 donation of money or nonperishable food items is suggested, to benefit the Beacon Avenue Food Bank. If you need to shred more than six grocery-size bags of documents, please consider an additional donation.

Also starting at 10 a.m. is the third in a series of “Growing Your Own Groceries” gardening classes at El Centro de la Raza. Topics of this month’s class include:

  • What to plant now?
  • Powder mildew
  • When and how to water
  • Internet information
  • Home orchard and berries
  • Herbs

The class is led by Master Gardener Mick Duggan, in El Centro’s room 310 at 2524 16th Ave. S. Mark your calendar for next month’s class on August 11.

The last event is at 3 p.m. on Saturday, when SAFE (Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction) hosts a community meeting of “Neighbors Fed Up with the Banks and the Foreclosure Crisis!” at Bethany United Church. There will be testimonials, referrals for free legal counseling, help with foreclosure resistance, and food.

Bethany United Church is located at 6230 Beacon Ave. S.


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