Slideshow: Fall colors at Picardo P-Patch

As is our custom, we took a stroll through Picardo P-Patch at the beginning of the month to capture some autumnal farm foliage pictures. Here they are, for your Saturday Brunch pleasure*:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

And, what the heck. Here’s a set of pictures from fall of 2010:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.


*Unless you’re using an iOS device. Which we do. So, clearly, we need to find another slideshow solution, darn it.

Really, it *is* spring. Here are some local garden events to prove it!

[UPDATED 4:47PM – Added some Center for Urban Horticulture Events]

Spring has, indeed, sprung. The sun’s path has crossed the equator and is headed further north everyday. (Astronomers know what season it is well before meteorologists and Seattleites, unfortunately.)

Here are some upcoming local garden-related events you may want to attend. Just be prepared to bring along your rain poncho.

Ravenna Community Garden

Two April work parties are scheduled (and you can find out about future ones by visiting their website  at

  • Sunday, April 10th, noon to 3PM – plant cabbage in Bed #10, move dirt pile, re-position compost bins, BUILD SHED, weed and plant the herb border, install fencing around herb bed
  • Saturday, April 30th, 2 to 5PM – plant potatoes in separate containers, plant Bed #7 with root veggies, BUILD SHED, border plantings

Anyone in the neighborhood is welcome to lend a hand in the community garden. It’s located on the northern end of the field behind the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Ave NE).

Picardo P-Patch

The Picardo Farm Gardener Gathering date has been set for Saturday, April 9th, in the University Prep Commons Area (8000 25th Ave NE). (This meeting is really only for Picardo P-Patch plot holders. If you’d like to look into getting your own plot at Picardo [or any other p-patch in the city], you can read up on the process here.)

Here are some agenda highlights:

10-11AM – New Gardeners

  • Picardo history and culture
  • Expectations and gardener responsibilities
  • Mentoring program

11-noon – Whole Garden

  • Announcements: Leadership, Straw Bale and Coffee Bag sale, post garden plant sale
  • Master Plan updates: Compost bins, orchard areas, grant proposal
  • Composting Toilet: Demonstration after the meeting
  • Food Bank gardening
  • South Field conversion to year-round gardening: process and how to get involved
  • Door prizes

After the meeting to 2PM – New gardener orientation in the p-patch

  • Find your plot
  • Learn about the garden – composting toilet, orchard, children’s garden, toolshed, etc.

Center for Urban Horticulture

Over in Laurelhurst at the UW’s Center for Urban Horticulture (3501 NE 41st Street), gardening-related events ABOUND. Here are three that I would recommend:

  • Saturday, April 2nd, 9AM-2PM – Northwest Fuchsia Society Spring Plant Sale: Hardy, species, baskets & many hard to find varieties. More info at
  • Saturday, April 2nd, 9AM-3PM – Garden Lovers’ Book Sale: Free and open to the public. Find a great deal on used gardening and plant books. Proceeds of the sale are used to purchase the best and newest in horticultural books and journals for the Elisabeth C. Miller Library. More info at
  • Saturday, April 16th, 10:30-11:15AM – Young Gardener’s Story Time: The Magic of Seeds! Join us for a story program that starts small and grows into something amazing! After the stories, do a seed dance and plant a seed to take home. (Held monthly, through the growing season.)

There are MANY more events in April at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Visit their Classes and Events Calendar to see them all.

Thanks to Rebecca on facebook for the tip!


Do YOU know of any other Ravenna-area gardening events in April? Let me know in the comments below or by email, and I shall add them to the post.

Picardo P-Patch Fundraiser Dinner – Eatin’ in the Rain

It was the evening of Friday, September 17th.  The sky was grey, the clouds were ominous, and the rain was ABUNDANT.  I think I saw Noah himself at one point, wandering through the garden, muttering about lumber and cubits.  But the 40 or so diners (and dozen or so volunteers) who came to the first ever Picardo P-Patch Fundraiser Dinner that night had a great time, regardless of the evening’s weather.

[Click on any of the following photos to view a larger version.]

No jacket and tie necessary, but savvy diners arrived clad in functional beauties like THESE.

The original plan for the event was that the wine tasting portion would be held over by the Garden Goddess statue (yeah, THAT Garden Goddess statue), but of course the Weather God had other plans.

Instead, a canopy tent was set up in between the tool barn and the permanent shelter area. Appetizers (tapas) were in the tool barn, wines for tasting were under the canopy tent, and the “dining room” was the shelter area. Diners didn’t get wet unless they strayed out from under cover, or happened to be standing in the small gap between the shelter and the tent. It made for a very cozy and intimate, if still damp, arrangement.

Gosh, I wonder where exactly the table bouquet flowers came from. I have a good guess.

Music and tapas in the tool shed. Kind of made me wish there were guitars in here all the time, along with the shovels and rakes and the like.

Here we have 3/4 of the evening’s vintners: From left to right – Milton Tam (Picardo gardener and winemaker), and Andy Shepherd and Tim Bates, 2/3 of Roosevelt’s Eight Bells Winery.  All three graciously donated some of their respective wines to the event.

Andy and Tim were pouring their 2008 syrah and 2009 chardonnay. Milton was pouring AT LEAST 6 different wines of his own making (2009 pinot gris, 2007 viognier, 2004 cabernet franc, 2001 cabernet, 2006 syrah and 2007 cabernet sauvignon).  There were also a few other wines from another Picardo winemaker available for tasting, including a blackberry wine and a plum wine.

The fund raising possibilities didn’t stop at the dinner ticket price: Bottles of Spanish wines were available to go back to the table with your plate of paella.

Quality control: That’s what separates the professionals from the amateurs.

Happy customers raise their glasses.

Sangria in the making!

Here we see (l-r) Composting Toilet Committee member David Atcheson, Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Supervisor Rich Macdonald, and gardener/bon vivant Milton Tam enjoying the wine and weather canopy.

This was the salad.  How anyone could devour such a beautiful thing, I cannot say.  But there were no leftovers whatsoever.

This is Jim Kuhn, the Paella King and Picardo gardener, at work on the main course. He’s very fast.

King Jim with wife, Queen Claudia, building Paella the Second.

I was not yet at the garden to witness the beginning of the paella (nor would I want to divulge any of Jim’s paella secrets, if there are any), but I did take a series of pictures as the final ingredients were layered in.

Hey, where’s the rice?

[time passes]

Ahh, there’s the rice!

His Royal Highness, adding tomatoes.

The final product, in Technicolor.

Time to dine.

Dinner, served.

It was at this point that the photographer (moi) tried a few bites of the paella (delicious!) before she had to tromp back through the now BLACK p-patch and head home.  A dessert buffet provided by Picardo gardeners closed out the meal.


From the Ravenna Blog post of September 14th that advertised this first ever fundraiser dinner for the Picardo P-Patch:

Why a fundraiser dinner for the garden?  Well, mostly because of this beauty:

interior, wide

Have a seat!

It’s the Picaloo, Seattle’s first composting toilet (read about its grand opening back on Saturday, April 3rd here). This fundraiser dinner is designed to help retire the last of the composting toilet debt, as well as provide funds for other Picardo projects (among them: new hose holders and more blueberry plants).

Take a Tour of NE Seattle P-Patches on October 16

This just in!

Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods is hosting six different van tours of the city’s P-Patch Community Gardens and Neighborhood Matching Fund projects.

The tours are hosted by the Department of Neighborhoods staff and volunteers, and they are FREE! But space is limited and reservations are required.

Here is the full schedule of tours (all of which are held on Saturdays from 1-3pm), with the one for our area highlighted:

Southeast Seattle:  September 18
Southeast Neighborhood Service Center, 3815 South Othello Street,  98118
Featured Gardens: Hillman City, Bradner, Colman, New Holly Gardens, and Thistle.

Southwest Seattle:  September 25
Delridge, 5405 Delridge Way Southwest,  98106
Featured Gardens: High Point Gardens, Delridge, West Genesee, Roxhill and Lincoln Park.

Lake Union Area:  October 2
Fremont Neighborhood Service Center,  908 N. 34th St , 98103
Featured Gardens: Cascade, Belltown, Queen Pea, Eastlake and Interbay

Central Seattle:  October 9
Central Neighborhood SC, 2301 S. Jackson St, Suite 208,  98144
Featured Gardens: Judkins, Hawkins, Spring Street, Squire Park, and Howell Collective

Northeast Seattle:  October 16
University Neighborhood Service Center  4534 University Way NE, 98105
Featured Gardens: Picardo, Pinehurst, Maple Leaf, Roosevelt and Ravenna

Northwest Seattle:  October 23
Greenwood Neighborhood Service Center, 8515 Greenwood Ave North, 98103
Featured Gardens: Good Shepherd, Fremont, Hazel Heights, Greg’s Garden and Ballard

For more information, and to make reservations, visit the tour homepage.