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Beacon Food Forest finds fame

March 13th, 2012 at 9:12 pm | 4 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Photo by Gavin St. Ours via Creative Commons/Flickr.

You have probably heard of the Beacon Food Forest, the new urban farming project being created west of Jefferson Park. Suddenly, however, much of the rest of the country is hearing about it as well. The Food Forest has picked up a ton of press in the last few weeks.

“It’s a great day if you like the organic food!” Craig Ferguson of CBS’s Late Late Show spent part of his monologue on Monday night’s show riffing about the Food Forest and organic food.

The Food Forest was also featured on KUOW’s Weekday show with Steve Scher on Monday.

Here are some of the other mentions this local project has received:

And the stories that seem to have started the frenzy:

It’s not yet as well-known as the Space Needle, but it seems the Food Forest is on its way to becoming a famous Seattle landmark.


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Beacon Food Forest moving forward in 2012

February 10th, 2012 at 12:49 pm | 3 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

This is the site that will become the Beacon Food Forest. Construction will start later this year. Photo courtesy of Friends of the Beacon Food Forest.

(This has been edited since original publication to correct the contact address. –Ed.)

Glenn Herlihy from the Beacon Food Forest sent us the group’s latest newsletter. Read on for information about the beginning of Food Forest construction, project grants, how to get involved, next Monday’s Steering Committee meeting, and a movie night on March 2 (Vanishing of the Bees).

We begin building the food forest this year!

2012 will be a big year for the Beacon Food Forest (BFF). In Dec. 2011 we received word from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods/ P-Patch Program the BFF will be receiving $100,000 to further develop the design and begin building. This is levy money administered by The Seattle P-Patch Program to fund and upstart new public gardens for communities without access to community gardens. Thank you very much P-Patch/Department of Neighborhoods and Voters for this grand opportunity to transform our sustainable community vision into reality!

For more info about P-Patches and the BFF, http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/ppatch/locations/BeaconFoodForest.htm

The Levy money will jump start phase one of our garden. Having completed the schematic design, we will use some of the levy money to complete more detailed construction designs. These will enable us to assess the amount of grading and earth works needed at the site. We will also be hooking into city water and running water lines for irrigation throughout the 1.75 acres. We have a deadline to use these funds by Dec 31, 2012.
There is a bit of work to be done first, but it will be this summer and fall that our community will lay out beds/paths and begin planting a food forest! We know from our mail there are a lot of you out there wanting to dig in and grow, your time has come. Please stay tuned for more updates and events or contact us anytime at http://beaconfoodforest.weebly.com/contact-join.html.

More »


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Beacon Bits: City U not coming to PacMed

January 27th, 2012 at 7:30 am | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The historic PacMed building. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.

There had been some talk that City University would move into the PacMed/Amazon building at the north end of Beacon Hill. However, the university has decided instead to move to the Sixth & Wall building in the Denny Regrade (or Belltown) area, according to the Seattle Times. The building was once the home of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and later of Group Health.

The Times reports:

“The university also considered the PacMed building on Beacon Hill—Amazon.com’s former headquarters—but chose Sixth & Wall after taking students to visit both buildings, (City University spokesperson Tarsi) Hall said.

“‘They really liked the neighborhood we’re moving to,’ she said.”

We aren’t sure, but was Beacon Hill just dissed?

* * *

Chef Vincent Rivera of Jazz Alley will be at El Centro de la Raza on Sunday, January 29 at 1 p.m. for a special cooking demonstration, making mole enchiladas and traditional side dishes. The demonstration will include both meat and vegetarian food.

Tickets are $40 and will benefit the El Centro de la Raza Senior Nutrition and Wellness program, which provides meals along with daily social, exercise and educational activities to seniors. Tickets may be purchased online through Brown Paper Tickets.

* * *

Jordan Van Voast of CommuniChi sent us this announcement:

“Happy Chinese New Year all, CommuniChi is celebrating 5 years of service to Beacon Hill and Seattle, offering affordable acupuncture. To celebrate, we are offering Free Acupuncture (to New Patients) on February 1.”

To sign up for a free treatment, visit the CommuniChi website.

CommuniChi is located inside the El Centro de la Raza building, at 2524 16th Ave. S. #301.

* * *

A video look at “another Tuesday night on Beacon Hill,” with Alleycat Acres.

* * *

The Benders art show at NEPO House is extended through January 28 because of last week’s snow shenanigans. More info at the NEPO website.

* * *

Save the date—on February 4 there will be a ROCKiT Art Chair community celebration party at the library, and at Jose Rizal Park, there will be a dedication of a monument to honor World War II Filipino defenders of Bataan and Corregidor. Stay tuned for more information about these events here on the blog soon!


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Chicks, bikes, and weeds: self-reliance classes coming to Beacon Hill

September 16th, 2011 at 8:15 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Want to raise chickens like this one? There's a class for that. Photo by Wendi.

[Edited at 4:06 p.m. to note that registration is required for the bicycle workshop. –Ed.]

The Seattle Public Library is hosting a series of “Urban Self-Reliance” workshops, including several here at the Beacon Hill Library branch. The workshops are free and open to the public, and registration is not required unless noted in the class description below.

These are the classes scheduled for the Beacon Hill Library (2821 Beacon Ave. S.):

“Bicycle Maintenance”: Basic bike maintenance techniques taught by instructors from The Bikery, a non-profit community bike project. Registration is required for this workshop; call 206-684-4711 to sign up. (1-3 p.m., Sunday, October 2.)

“Keeping Chickens in the City”: The basics of keeping chickens in the city, including starting with chicks, feeding and housing requirements, and more. (6-7:30 p.m., Monday, October 10.)

“Finding Edible Weeds in Your Garden and Lawn”: Local author and expert forager Langdon Cook will talk about how to use your backyard as an exotic produce aisle. (6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 26.)

Classes offered at other library branches include “DIY Seismic Home Retrofitting,” “Apartment Gardening with Amy Pennington,” “Introduction to Bike Commuting,” “Simple Sewing (Bags/Pillows/Potholders),” and more. For more information about the classes offered throughout the rest of the city, see the SPL website.


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Free floats and farming tomorrow at Alleycat Acres

July 11th, 2011 at 8:06 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Ice cream floats are coming to the Alleycat Acres urban farm on Tuesday, July 12, from 6-8 p.m. Everyone is welcome to visit the farm, meet the honey bees, check out the new irrigation system, and try a free float made from DRY Soda and Bluebird ice cream.

Alleycat Acres is located at 3656 24th Ave. S. If you can, bring your own spoon and mug, but if you can’t, don’t worry.


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Neighbors invited to Food Forest design party 6/7

June 2nd, 2011 at 4:36 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The first Beacon Food Forest community design party is this coming Tuesday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Garden House, 2336 15th Ave. S.

Neighbors are invited to participate in the design process for the Beacon Food Forest (previously known as the Jefferson Park Food Forest). This is the first of three design parties hosted by the Harrison Design Team. Dinner will be provided.

The Beacon Food Forest is a planned “edible urban forest garden” on a 7-acre grassy field on the western slope of Jefferson Park. The Food Forest project received a $22,000 grant in December 2010 to create a schematic design. Tuesday’s design party is part of this design process. Future design parties are planned for July 13 and sometime in September.


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Jefferson Park Food Forest project progressing

March 5th, 2011 at 4:20 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Glenn Herlihy sent a report from the Jefferson Park Food Forest project:

Hello all,

Photo courtesy of Glenn Herlihy.

In late 2010 we received a grant from the Department of Neighborhoods to select a Design Team to create a schematic design for a Food Forest in Jefferson Park. The Friends of Jefferson Park Food Forest formed a Selection Committee with eight members for the purpose of interviewing and hiring as much talent as possible. After publicly posting our Request for Qualification (RFQ) we received seven highly qualified Statements of Qualification (SOQ) from design teams in the western Washington area. From there we narrowed it down to four design teams to interview.

This week the selection committee is pleased to announce a final decision to hire Harrison Design Team to facilitate and create a schematic design for the Jefferson Park Food Forest.

We chose this design team for not only their past work experience but their outstanding ability to engage, educate and facilitate the public in a design process. They are fun people with multiple talents for landscape design, permaculture food systems, ethnobotany and the facilitation process.

Briefly the team consists of:

  • Margarett Harrison is Principal of Harrison Design. She has over 25 years of experience in planning, designing, and managing landscape projects in both public and private sectors. She has worked for several local design firms including Mithun.
  • Jenny Pell is Owner of Permaculture Now. Her experience covers all aspects of permaculture consulting, design, site assessment, managing installations, and budgets. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked and taught around the globe.
  • Dave Boehnlein is a Principal at Terra Phoenix Design and is the eduction director at Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead on Orcas Island. Among several of his memberships is the Northwest Ecobuilding Guild and the Northern Nut Growers Association. He lives in Columbia City.
  • Kris Pendleton is the Owner and Principal of Sound Urban Edibles, based in Seattle. He has traveled the world studying temperate agriculture landscapes.

Now we need you more than ever.

In late March, date yet to be announced, we will be holding the first of several design parties. They will be festive and educational workshops for the whole family. We plan on offering an ethnically diverse spread of food because food and nutrition is what we are all about. This project offers you the seeds to positive action, the seeds for a future with affordable nutrition for our community. Please join us; everyone is welcome.

Long live your Mother,

Glenn Herlihy
Friends of the Jefferson Park Food Forest


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Food Forest committee presents urban permaculture slide show

December 6th, 2010 at 3:03 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Photo courtesy of Jefferson Park Food Forest Steering Committee.

On Wednesday, December 8, the Jefferson Park Food Forest Steering Committee is hosting a free slide show about home and community permaculture. The event invitation says, “This show will highlight many ways to make our urban homesteads more efficient and provide methods for our community to be more resilient in tough eco times.” Permaculturist Dave Boehnlein will present the slide show, which will showcase home food production, energy efficiency, food forestry and community activation.

The event is Wednesday evening at 6:00 pm, in the Beacon Hill Library meeting room, 2821 Beacon Avenue South. Food and drinks will be provided. All are welcome.


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Beacon Bits: Chickens, Conlin, and Caspar Babypants

July 2nd, 2010 at 7:01 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Urban farmers may soon be able to keep eight chickens like this fat and sassy Beacon Hill hen, if DPD's proposed amendments are approved. Fresh eggs for everyone! Photo by Wendi.

The Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is proposing amendments to the Land Use Code that concern urban agriculture, including urban farms and community gardens. The proposed amendments would allow such uses in all zones, though there would be some limitations in industrial zones. Additionally, farmers’ markets would be permitted outright in commercial zones, and the number of chickens permitted on a lot would increase from three to eight. Roosters, however, would specifically be banned. (Despite popular belief, they aren’t currently.) See more about the proposals here, and plan to attend a public hearing on July 21 at 5:30 pm if you’d like to comment on these changes. The hearing will be in Council Chamber, 2nd Floor, Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue. A sign-up sheet will be available outside the Chamber at 5:00 pm. If you can’t attend the meeting, comments can be sent to City Councilmember Richard Conlin.

* * *

Speaking of Councilmember Conlin, he’ll be a guest speaker at Happenin’ on the Hill, a neighborhood “green space celebration” hosted by the Environmental Outreach and Stewardship Alliance (EOS Alliance) at the Maple School Natural Area, 20th Avenue South and South Lucile Street, on Saturday, July 10. The event will include food, music, art, and speakers including Conlin and Erick McWayne (former EOS Alliance Executive Director). The event starts at 12 noon and runs until 4:00 pm, with a rededication of the Maple School Natural Area at 3:00 pm.

* * *

The Touch of Sweden garage sale we mentioned a couple of weeks ago was postponed (due to cold and rainy weather) until Saturday, July 3, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at 12th Avenue South and South Judkins Street. Kajsa and PopTop are moving away on Sunday, first to PopTop’s home in Minneapolis and then to Sweden where Kajsa’s father is suffering from cancer. Kajsa sent us a message to the community with an appeal for help; we added it in its entirety to our earlier post. See it there.

* * *

Wellspring Family Services on Rainier Avenue South and South Plum Street is holding a “Kids Helping Kids” fundraising drive this summer. The drive benefits programs for homeless kids, including the Baby Boutique (a free boutique where homeless families can shop) and Morningsong (a childcare center for homeless children).

Kids who participate in the coin drive and turn in their donations on time will be entered into a contest for a chance to win their own original song by Caspar Babypants (Chris Ballew of The Presidents of the United States of America). To participate, kids must register at the website.

Wellspring and “Kids Helping Kids” will be at the Columbia City Farmers’ Market on South Edmunds Street on Wednesday, July 21 with Caspar Babypants from 3:00 to 5:00 pm.

* * *

The Seattle City Light Powerful Neighborhoods pilot program is helping South Seattle residents install energy- and water-saving technology in their homes. Since April, more than 800 homes have been served by the program, in which trained installers come to customers’ homes and install free light bulbs, showerheads, faucet aerators, and smoke detectors. Yes, free. (The installation is free, too.)

To qualify, you must live in a single-family home or 2 to 4-unit building in the zip codes 98144, 98118, 98178, 98108, 98126, 98106, and 98134. If you would like to participate in the program please call the Powerful Neighborhoods multilingual phone line at 206-449-1132, or email scl_install@seattle.gov.


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Alleycat Acres raising funds and produce

May 27th, 2010 at 3:09 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Alleycat Acres, a volunteer-driven urban farming collective is hosting a fundraiser tonight from 6:00 – 10:00 pm at Grey Gallery, 1512 11th Avenue on Capitol Hill. The suggested donation is $5-20 at the door.

Music for the event will be provided by DJ Colby B. and Brett Law, and there will be a raffle with prizes from local businesses. See more details at the website.

Sunday was the first ever harvest day at Alleycat Acres’ Beacon Hill farm site. Good Magazine filmed the harvest, and the volunteers harvested 129 pounds of lettuce, spinach, turnips, radishes, chard, and green onions, and delivered 120 pounds of the produce to the Beacon Avenue Food Bank.

129 pounds of produce harvested by Alleycat Acres last weekend. Photo by e pants via Creative Commons.


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