Dumpster Diving is not Illegal

dumpsterdiveAfter the great turn out to the showing of the documentary film Just Eat It, which highlighted the grotesque amount of food that is thrown into the dumpsters across America, the question arose, “Is it legal to salvage food from dumpsters?” I had to admit that I did not know the answer but that I would find out.
The City of Renton Police Department stated that there is no law that exists that would prohibit dumpster diving. You cannot go onto residential property and take things from a dumpster, but commercial properties such as restaurants, grocery stores or bakeries are open market for divers. Salvaging items for resale is illegal but salvaging food for personal consumption is not.
The woman on the phone did say that to be safe she recommended just asking the business if they would mind if their throw away food was taken away instead of thrown away. Seems like a good idea. Happy diving!

Community Farm Expansion-New plots available!

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Hey everyone! We have officially expanded Sustainable Renton Community Farm! We have 10 new plots available for gardening in this season. We offer a 10’x20’ plot for just $50. This price is good for a 12 month period, so if you want to plant perennials, or try your hand at winter gardening-now is the time. The soil is great and the people are amazing.  The farm is located at 11840 148th Ave NE Renton 98059 (behind Celebration Church). Feel free to stop by the garden any time and have a look around. If you are interested in gardening with us you can get a hold of us at sustainablerenton@gmail.com and we will get you started right away! Get empowered, grow your own!

See you at the farm!

Farm plots available!

IMG_2079The Sustainable Renton Community Farm is expanding!

We have officially been given approval from the land owners to plow and create 13 more garden plots at the community farm! There are only 4 people on the waiting list so now is your opportunity to come and be a part of the amazing community gardening that is happening. Please drop by for a gander any time. The farm is located behind Celebration Church, at 11840 148th Ave NE, Renton 98059. If you would like to arrange a meeting at the farm with the farm manager or would simply like to be placed on the waiting list for plots being made available on May 1st please contact Lara Randolph by emailing to sustainablerenton@gmail.com and she will be glad to give you a tour of the garden and what we have available.

See you at the farm!

Tess the Gardener

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Here is a brief introduction to Tess, the Gardener. I first met Tess at the Meaningful Movies of Renton events; she has been a loyal supporter of them from the beginning. Over time we have come to know each other as like minded neighbors that want to make a positive change in our community.

 

 

 

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I had the pleasure of visiting Tess’ house the other day. When I parked in front of her house located in the Renton Highlands area, I was immediately struck by how the yard has been replaced by garden space to grow things. She had a multitude of berries and bulbs, kale and collards. She confessed to having been influenced by the recent permaculture workshop, led by Laura Sweany, to change the shape of her current garden bed into something a little more in tune with nature-she went from planting in a traditional row pattern to creating a spiral gardening bed. This shape lends itself to more cohesion towards how plants might grow in the wild. This is also a great strategy for confusing pests that may want to attack one crop, for if that crop is sprinkled together with other crops, than the damage is greatly reduced.

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Of course, I noticed the peace sign made from brick that had been incorporated into her walkway through her yard. My kids loved it too.

Tess had chickens in her back yard and two compost systems-one used for kitchen scraps and the other for chicken manure.

I was also blessed to get a taste of Tess’ homemade chili-yummy.

I have to say that this is a shining example of one of the products of being involved with Sustainable Renton-community.

Although it was a short visit I was left with the feeling that we were more connected to one another and how absolutely grateful I am to belong to an organization that fosters a healthier community through fostering healthier relationships with our neighbors.

Priceless.

Socially Conscious Gourmet Dinner for 14!

Those of you that enjoy good food, good wine, good conversation, and supporting a good cause should LOVE this!

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The Renton Community Foundation is having their Annual Online Auction *right now*. This year’s theme is For the Love of  Community.  All proceeds from the auction go the the Foundation to help them meet the ever-increasing need for services in the Puget Sound area.

One of the auction items is a Socially Conscious Gourmet Dinner for 14. This dinner features the culinary talents of the Red House Beer, Wine Shoppe and Tapas Bar kitchen, wines from local vintners Cedar River Cellars, and produce from the Sustainable Renton Community Farm. This wonderful evening is being auctioned for 14 people, who will enjoy a 4-course meal paired with wines. The evening will also highlight the exciting partnerships happening in our community in this emerging ‘farm to table’ sustainable economy.

What a great way to support local charities, enjoy delicious food and wine, and to learn about a sustainable local food system in action.

You can find out all the details and bid here.

Meet our Gardeners #1: Liz Kramps

This is the first of many interviews talking with the people who garden and who are involved with the Sustainable Renton Community Farm. They are such an amazing group of people that I thought it would be great to get to know them a bit better.

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The first gardener I am featuring is Liz Kramps. She came to farm in July and has managed to make her plot so abundant, that she has been able to contribute to the harvests that go to The Red House twice a week. She has an amazingly mellow and confident demeanor that makes her very easy to talk with and when you do, you find out that she is a wealth of knowledge on various topics of gardening. She has provided the farm and other gardeners with excellent resources and information.

Liz lives in Renton. Here is the interview:

What do you do for a living?
Currently I’m working for a clinical research organization. Not my ideal job, would much rather do something with a bit more soul, but it pays the bills for now.

How long have you been gardening?  
I’ve been gardening for about 10 years to varying degrees.  I started with tomatoes and peppers on my fire escape, to a barrage of containers in a neighbor’s yard, to a community garden plot.  Most of my experience has been on the east coast so there’s been a little learning curve since I moved to WA 2 and a half years ago.  I am enjoying the mild winters and am really excited to grow this winter.

How did you become interested in Sustainable Renton Community Farm? 
I was looking for a space to grow things and in my search found the SRCF.  I was so excited to find such a great space so close to home!!

What do you like most about the SRCF?  I really like that it’s a new space with so much potential and a great mix in it’s knowledge base.

What kinds of things are you growing in your garden? 
Right now I have a LOT of greens, some peppers, eggplant, tomatillos and summer squash.

What is your favorite thing to grow and why?  
The one thing that I grow every year are thai hot peppers, though I’ve found the PNW a little tricky to grow hot peppers in.  I’m thinking of keeping them in a small hoop house all summer next year and/or keeping black plastic over the soil to keep the temps up.  I am most excited to expand my garden and include brassicas and garlic.

Do you employ a particular gardening philosophy? If so, what it is it and why? 
I don’t have a specific philosophy, obviously I employ organic principles.  Beyond that I grow food because I want to know what it is that I am eating.  Over the years I have transitioned to eating probably 85% local and in season, my weaknesses being coffee, sugar and bananas :).  I preserve quite a bit, have a well stocked chest freezer and participate in countless bulk buys to procure food that is locally produced from small farmers.  Overall I know who grows or raises most of my food.  I currently have a small flock of laying hens and have in the past raised meat chickens, which is something I’d like to be able to do again next year.  This year I am raising turkeys for my sister and I for the holidays and have learned that turkeys are super funny and am dreading their impending end.  Though I guess my ‘eating philosophy’ is that if I want to eat it, I should be able to grow/raise it and do all the steps from farm to table.

Interview conducted by Lara Randolph, Sustainable Renton Community Farm Manager.

Winter Gardening Workshop-This Monday!

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I know its last minute, but if growing food in the winter has always sounded interesting but fear and doubt reigned heavier than a sense of adventure, now is the time to spread those proverbial gardening wings and attempt to fly!

Sustainable Renton Community Farm is holding a Winter Gardening Workshop on Monday, September 23rd at 5:30 pm. This workshop will be led by Cascadia Edible Landscapes. These folks are a small, local company located in the Skyway area and are offering winter veggie starts for those that show up. It would be great to have a good turn out for these folks; however, they offer these starts to anyone who contacts them. Their website is www.eatyouryard.com .

Some of the great things that can be grown in this area are most of the brassicas such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Mustards as well as many different greens such as kale, collards, chard and bok choy are also good choices. Many varieties of lettuce, spinach, onions and peas can also be grown. This comes as a relief because these crops are essentially the crops that have a tendency to bolt, with the exception of onions and peas, in the heat of summer. So come and check out Cascadia Edible Landscape’s collection and face those winter gardening fears this year.

Also, if you happened to miss our seed saving workshop with the Urban Food Warrior, Caitlin Moore, you will have another chance to meet her in January with our Plan Your Garden Workshop-details to come within the next month.

Also, there are four plots being used for pumpkin and squash beds, those plots will be coming available for new gardeners in the next months following the harvests. The price for a garden plot is $50 for a 12 month period.

There are already two people on the waiting list, so if you are interested, please contact Lara Randolph at larar35@comcast.net or Elizabeth Zwicker at linguisticnurse@gmail.com or Sustainable Renton at sustainablerenton@gmail.com

Happy gardening!