You know, it’s not easy to find land in a city as dense as Seattle that has enough room and exposure to grow a decent amount of food. I mean enough food to comprise the majority of the vegetable for the year. Just recently I fell into an opportunity to develop an acre sized lot just north of Seattle.
I have been looking for a place like this for 10 years or so. This kind of chance doesn’t come along often. I met with the owner and we immediately clicked. After a number of meetings we have come to a couple of goals.
1. That we grow a garden that we can eat our way across.
2. That we reduce the amount of natural resources we consume as much as possible.
Simple? Yeah, kind of, but not really. When I took a deeper look these goals actually ask a lot! Its gonna be tough, but damn its gonna be fun! The goal is to free our creativity rather than confine us to some kind of ecological sacrificial existence. So far, with nothing more than the frames of raised beds made and a used chop saw to show for the development of the garden, I am already having a great time going to the architectural salvage organizations and trying to find pieces that will work in either the garden or the house.
I’m going to be writing about the development of the property here and there both on Edible Gardens North West and my twitter account twitter.com/ediblegardensnw.
So what’s the deal? Here is what we have at our disposal so far. 2 half acre lots with all the exposures from full sun to full shade; about 4 fruit trees (apples, pears, figs) and some berries (blueberries, salal) and a whole lot of lawn.
The garden itself will act as a demonstration for urban garden development. Part of how we are going about the design is by creating a perimeter that is the same square footage as your average Seattle home, about 25′ x 35′. The rest of the lot will consist of small experiments in edible landscaping from greenhouse to fruit tree guilds to grey water and livestock. It is important to us that the development
of the garden is accessible to most urban dwellers in temperate climates, so that some of the experiments can be transposed into a urban home garden.
Let me know if there is something that you are interested in. In true Permaculture fashion I will be observing the property for the first year with only some vegetables grown for supplementary food. We will be starting small and expanding on our successes as they come.