A Summer of Practical Action

The Gathering Place at Hunter Tree Farm was created by a grant-funded project in 2011.

The Hunter Tree Farm Gathering Place (HFGP) at 7744 35th Ave NE is a usable public space created in cooperation with the site owners, the Hunter family.  The HFGP needs its summer sprucing up!  Make your summer a time of practical action at  the work party at Hunter’s on Thursday evening, July 9th, from 6:30 to 9 PM.

We will meet to weed, mow, fix, and the likes, to get the HFGP ready to be used for the community’s summer events, like the Wedgwood Outdoor Cinema coming up on July 25th.

Bring your work gloves and any tools you might use for yard work.  Building skills are sought for stage repair.

The work party will be hosted by Sustainable Northeast Seattle.  Take a look at the other Summer of Practical Action events such as a Rainwise workshop and a night of Wedgwood Meaningful Movies.

Solar Power

Are you interested in solar power for your home?  How does solar power work, and will solar power reduce your electric bills?

NW Wind & Solar is holding a workshop on Monday, June 1st from 6 to 7:30 PM at Wedgwood Presbyterian Church, 8008 35th Ave NE (enter from NE 80th Street and go upstairs to the Fireside Room.)

Registered attendees at the workshop will receive a discount on installation of a solar system by NW Wind & Solar.

Practical Permaculture

What is permaculture?  Permaculture aims for a site which sustains itself through natural landscaping and edible gardening.  A fruit tree, for example, provides food, shade and beauty to a landscape.  All plants in the permaculture garden should provide practical benefits along with aesthetic satisfaction.

Join in with the Practical Permaculture meeting on Thursday, April 9.  There will be a general meeting from 7 to 8 PM.  From 8 to 9 PM local authors and permaculturalists Dave Boehnlein and Jessi Bloom will share ideas from their new book, Practical Permaculture.  Copies of their book will be available so bring some cash or your checkbook. You’re going to want to take home a copy!

In their talk the authors will address:  Making Permaculture Landscapes Understandable for All: Integrating Aesthetics & Education Into All Your Designs. Dave and Jessi will discuss the role of aesthetics and educational design for permaculture landscapes.

The meeting will be at the North Seattle Friends Church Fellowship Hall, 2415 NE 80th Street.  Enter the driveway off of 25th Ave NE just south of the Tool Library building.

Are You RainWise? Learn How You May Be Eligible for Free Rain Gardens or Cisterns!

RainWise Contractor Fair
Saturday, March 21st,  11:30AM-1PM
Hunter Farm Gathering Place, 7744 35th Ave NE

In Seattle, many of our roads drain to catchbasins that feed into combined sewer overflow (CSO) stormwater infrastrucutre.  These CSO systems periodically get overwhelmed during heavy rain events and result in discharges of sewage into our water ways, such as Lake Washington.  You can actually check out this interactive map to see whether CSO’s are discharging into our City’s waterways during rain events.  In Wedgwood, most of this water either drains south to North Union Bay, near the Center for Urban Horticulture.

To help alleviate the volume of stormwater entering these systems and minimize costly infrastructure improvements, the Seattle Public Utilities has developed the RainWise program.  Through SPU’s RainWise program, home owners can get significant rebates to have rain gardens or cisterns installed on their property to capture runoff from roofs or other impervious surfaces.  In many cases, these rebates will pay the whole cost for construction and landscaping of a rain garden or instllation of a cistern (Average Rebate = $4,400!).  There’s an easy way to figure out if you qualify for RainWise rebates.  Simply, check on SPU’s RainWise website whether your address is within the boundaries of a RainWise CSO basin.

If you do qualify for RainWise rebates, SPU will be hosting a a series of FREE RainWise 101 workshops over the coming months to learn more.  You can even meet RainWise qualified contractors on March 21st from 11:30AM-1PM at the Hunter Farm Gathering Place (7744 35th Ave NE) to help meet and select a contractor to help guide you through this process.  SPU has even put together a walking tour for the NE Seattle and the Wedgwood area to see rain gardens that your neighborhs have already had installed through SPU’s RainWise program.  You can learn about all of this and more through their NE Seattle RainWise Brochure (PDF).

UPCOMING RainWise EVENTS.  Register at www.sustainableballard.org/register

  • RainWise Contractor Fair - Find out how to get started with RainWise and meet qualified contractors.
    Satureday, March 21, 11:30AM-1PM at Hunter Farm Gathering Place, 7744 35th Ave NE
  • FREE RainWise 101 Workshops – Learn about the RainWise program. Register at www.sustainableballard.org/register
    • Thursday, March 19, 7-8:30PM, Sand Point Methodist Church, 4710 NE 70th St
    • Wednesday, April 1, 6-7:30PM, Ballard Public Library, 5614 22nd Ave NW
    • Sunday, April 19, 3-4:3oPM, NE Seattle Public Library, 6801 35th Ave NE
    • Wednesday, April 22, 7-8:30PM, Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave N

Two Years of Tools

NE Seattle Tool Library members

The NE Seattle Tool Library is celebrating two years of sharing, skill-building, community networking and just plain old-fashioned fun.  Everyone is invited to join in at the anniversary celebration on Saturday, January 24, beginning at noon. Come and meet the folks, take a look around and consider a membership for unlimited borrowing and for participation in classes.

The NE Seattle Tool Library is located at 2415 NE 80th Street, just west of Ravenna Ave NE.  Go one block west from the traffic light at NE 80th Street.

New Year, New Skills

Sustainable NE Seattle is collaborating with Meadowbrook Community Center to offer the Fifth Annual ‘HANDS ON!’ community skills–share fair.

What is a skills fair?  It is a day of sharing practical skills with our neighbors.  There will be short workshops on a wide variety of skills, from sock darning to bread baking to fruit tree grafting. The day will include a luncheon and speaker.

The Skills Fair is from 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday, February 7, 2015, with lunch from 12 to 12:45 at Meadowbrook Community Center, 10517 35th Ave NE.

Sharing skills to strengthen our community.

Do you have a skill you would like to teach? This community has stepped up in the past five years and filled the day’s schedule with classes of all kinds. Think of the things you know that help aid in your ability to live more in concert with the earth and adds to your resilience. Then email susnesteering@gmail.com and let them know what you want to teach.  The SusNE page has a list of areas of interest from past years of the Skills Fairs.

Holiday Dinnerware, Borrowed from the Tool Library

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to inventory your plates and flatware: do you have enough for all your guests?  You can borrow sets of dishes, serving bowls, tablecloths, silverware, champagne flutes and wine glasses from the NE Seattle Tool Library.

Join the Tool Library and borrow punch bowls, serving trays and cooking utensils instead of buying seldom-used items.  The Tool Library has enough dinnerware to serve 180 people.  Check the browsable inventory on-line.

Hurry in this weekend!  The NE Seattle Tool Library will be open for the last time before the Thanksgiving holiday, on Saturday, November 22 from 9 to 3 PM, and Sunday, November 23 from 2 to 5 PM.

Garage Sale at the Tool Library

NE Seattle Tool Library members

The NE Seattle Tool Library is a tool-sharing resource located at 2415 NE 80th Street.  For a small annual membership fee you can have access to the huge inventory of tools, now numbering over 2,500.

The Tool Library’s mission is to leverage existing resources, reduce our environmental footprint, reduce consumption of tools used only once, educate community members in proper use and maintenance of tools, enhance self-reliance and resilience, foster sense of community and mutual support, and encourage repairing or re-purposing items instead of throwing them in the trash.

On Saturday, October 25 from 9 to 3 the NE Seattle Tool Library will have a sale of surplus tools.  There is lots of quality stuff, so your holiday shopping could begin here!  Stop by to see the inventory and check out the great resources of the Tool Library.

At the same day and time at the Tool Library, Saturday from 9 to 3, a class called Reinventing Fire will be held on how to build a BioChar Stove.  This efficient fire pit can be used as a barbecue grill as part of your emergency preparedness to cook food if/when the power goes off.

Bikes for Sale

Bikes for sale are at the Bike Shack which shares space in the NE Seattle Tool Library at 2415 NE 80th Street, just west of the traffic light on 25th Ave NE at NE 80th Street.  Photos of bikes which are available, are on the Bike Shack’s Facebook page.

The Bike Shack is a volunteer-run, donation-funded community bike shop that helps people learn to fix their bikes and provides tools for community use.  Open hours at the Bike Shack are the same as the Tool Library: Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 PM; Saturday 9 to 3 and Sunday 2 to 5.

Community Barter Fair and Cider Pressing

Sustainable NE Seattle will sponsor a Community Barter Fair and Cider Pressing festival on Saturday, September 27, from 1 to 4 PM.  Bring your home-grown and homemade goods to barter with others at the Fair, to be held at The Gathering Place at Hunter Tree Farm, 7744 35th Ave NE, next to the Wedgwood Post Office.

You and your neighbors can collect the apples from your yard trees and bring them to the Fair to be pressed into cider.  Please bring all the containers you will want to use, such as washed milk or juice containers, and bring extra to share.  Bring the kids to see how food can be conserved and shared.