Sustainable Renton Community Farm

Hello from Sustainable Renton Community Farm!

We have been busy up here in the East Renton Highlands neighborhood! CelebrationChurch has been kind enough to give us access to about 3 acres of land to start a community effort towards growing food.

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So, we have capitalized on the opportunity and we are off to an amazing start. We have 20 plots all sized 10’x 20’ with the plan of expanding the number of plots next season. What is different about our plots from other community gardens is that these plots are encouraged to be gardened year around with the same plot being assigned year after year. This concept lends itself to winter harvests which can be abundant here in the Pacific Northwest as well as perennial planting. There are only 3 plots left so if you or anyone you know might be interested in gardening here please let us know.

We are committed to organic practices and using only seeds from companies that have taken the Safe Seed Pledge.

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We are also interested in exploring a variety of growing practices. Besides individual gardeners and the various growing methods displayed within each plot, we also have some Hugelkultur beds displayed as well. There is a demonstration of how companion planting can be the wonderful equation of 1+1=3 in our popcorn field, with beans and squash being planted in the same bed. This combination is known in the gardening world as the three sisters. The primary goal is to give back to the soil as it gives to us. It is an amazing adventure to learn to listen to the earth and work with it rather than dominate it and force it to do what we want it to.

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If you are not interested in gardening but just want to come and get your hands dirty there is plenty of opportunity for that as well. We have planted 2 plots for the local REACH effort that has dedicated itself to feeding the hungry in our community every night of the week. They were so excited to hear that they will be receiving fresh produce from our farm.

Celebration Church has been a very gracious host and we are thankful for their giving spirit and their tireless dedication to helping our community.

Also, if you have any expertise that you would like to share with us and the community please contact us and we can put together a workshop for you.

If you would like to know more please contact:

Elizabeth Zwicker, Community Farm Liaison at linguisticnurse@gmail.com

Lara Randolph, Farm Manager at larar35@comcast.net

Chris Conkling, Sustainable Renton/President at sustainablerenton@gmail.com

We would love to have you.

May Events @ Sustainable Renton

May is shaping up to be another busy month for Sustainable Renton. Please read below to find out more about the different meetings and activities happening throughout the month. Unless otherwise specified, all meetings happen at our offices at 970 Harrington Ave NE in Renton. There are so many great things happening-we’d love to make a space for you to come and get involved.

May 4 – Sustainable Renton Community Farm: Work Party;  10am-4pm. Location: 11840 148th Ave. S.E., Renton, Washington 98059. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.

how_to_startMay 9 – Renton Food Co-op: Visioning Meeting; 7pm. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.

May 16 – Sustainable Renton Board Meeting; 7pm.

May 31 – Meaningful Movies: Manufactured Landscapes; 7pm. You can RSVP at the Facebook event page.

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MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES is the striking new documentary on the world and work of renowned artist Edward Burtynsky. The film follows him through China, as he shoots the evidence and effects of that country’s massive industrial revolution. With breathtaking sequences, such as the opening tracking shot through an almost endless factory, the filmmakers also extend the narratives of Burtynsky’s photographs, allowing us to meditate on our impact on the planet and witness both the epicenters of industrial endeavor and the dumping grounds of its waste.

This is a FREE event with a suggested donation of $5. Refreshments provided.

Everything has a beginning…

Brainstorming.

This past Sunday, Sustainable Renton hosted a community meeting on the Big Idea of a community farm in Renton. We really just wanted to see what kind of support and interest there was in this idea to determine if it would have energy to move forward.

While we did not have a huge turnout, the 10 non-board members that came had lots of energy, enthusiasm, and ideas for this project. Everyone wanted to see it happen, and wanted to help to do so.

Some steps that we’ll be taking as we start this journey:

  • Building “test” gardens in the area as a way to exhibit different methods of designing gardens: raised beds, lasagna-style, wheelchair accesssible, etc. This would also serve to model for potential donors that we are commited to seeing this project happen.
  • Researching studies done on the positive health and lifestyle benefits of organic food and gardens. The information collected will be used as a tool to help the project gather support and donors.
  • Start an online forum for discussions around the community farm project. This will allow community members to come together to share ideas and visions for what the farm could look like.
  • Outreaching to other area farms and organizations for support and ideas on securing land, fundraising, and farming methodology.

The planning group would also like to see us outreach to the various ethnic communities in Renton to engage them in utilizing gardens and a farm to grow produce that is unique to their cultures.

Mmm…fresh produce.

We will be having more community meetings on this project in the future to continue to draw in more ideas, energy, and support.

Imagine it: a farm here in Renton where food could be grown and sourced to serve at local restaurants, to sell at the farmer’s market, where classes could provide education on healthy living for all ages, and a community space where families and organizations could gather for celebrations, for cooking classes, and more.

What an exciting project to be a part of. As this journey evolves, we’ll continue to share what’s happening here on our website and on Facebook.