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).