Tag Archives: grant

Ready To Plow Ahead

November 14, 2014

Jump on the sled and slide down an exciting path of learning, sharing, building and beautifying. We have entered apple tasting DSC_0726our construction phase! (View the final project design on the Library Page to see what’s coming your way.)

We now have everything we need:

A lease from WSDOT, giving us a lot of freedom to take good care of this property.
A contract with the Department of Neighborhoods for a $43,000 infrastructure grant.
A wonderful group of supporters, committed to the dollar for dollar required match of $43,000!
Support will be cash and in-kind donations, volunteer hours, and donated professional services.

If you can lend even an hour of your time, you can join the effort. We need more than just physical labor. Below are items that need attention. Let us know if you can help.

Work with Dunn Lumber on a discount for lumber and other materials.
Check our math for the lumber dimensions needed for the shed roof.musicians DSC_0823
Scrape off grass where the rainwater cisterns will rest.
Keep you eye out for items we need – from Craig’s list, buynothing, freecycle, etc.
Post our progress and events on social media.
Review our volunteer and neighbor safety procedures.
(Volunteers are covered for medical by the City of Seattle.)
Be an environmental cop and review our materials purchases.
Audit our processes and communications. Are we welcoming to all neighbors and volunteers?
Shop for prices on materials like geotech fabric and crushed rock.
Build small embankments for a couple of slopes along the path route.
Offer to coordinate food for volunteers at major work parties.
Reduce our tool rental cost by lending a gas-powered chainsaw, auger, sod-cutter, nail gun, cordless drill, standing ladder.
Allow us to put things in your garage temporarily while we work.

Work parties are 1st Saturday and 3rd Sunday of each month.

Buy gifts for donors and volunteers.
Write thank-you cards.
Supply us with brick, concrete block, concrete rubble (less 4″ thick), and pavers.
(Please don’t dump materials without first making contact to make sure we need them!)
Post volunteer time to the City Webgrants website.141018 Vince & Emily 14949140543_bd35e1d65e_o
Perform a weekly functionality check of our website.
Meet a delivery vehicle at the orchard during the day.
Coordinate tool and equipment rental with a supplier.
Measure and lay out flexible piping for water distribution.
Install spigots.
Lend a hand with regular orchard maintenance during construction.
Find a group of volunteers from a workplace, church or United Way for major work parties.
Write one of the monthly blog posts.
Make necessary signs during construction.
Consider joining the steering committee or the advisory committee!
Advise us on sources for plants and buy for us at plant sales.

Items and skills needed will be listed on the Get Involved page of our website. If you can help, you can email us or send a message directly from that page.

We appreciate your willingness to make the most of our proximity to the freeway!

A mighty congratulations to all of the volunteers, especially Ingela, for pulling off a great Cider Fest last month. We have two new volunteers! Check out the wonderful U-Tube video made by Greg M.


An extra minute can mean a lot

July 3, 2014

Many thanks to Greg Meyer who spotted a shed for sale (see photo). Greg took an extra minute to 140414 Meyer Shed CAM01087write down the pertinent details and forward them to us. When the owner, Andy Farr, found out that it was for a community orchard, he donated the shed!

With the generous services and direction from Craig, we had the shed moved to the orchard and reconstructed within four hours. Thanks to Renee, who took an extra minute to find us a strong young volunteer, we had enough muscle power between Fernando, Tracy, Craig, Andy, assembly WP_20140523_001 smJustin, and Nancy.

Craig also took an extra minute at Aurora Rents to explain why he rented a compressor. Aurora Rents waived the rental charge!

We are so happy we don’t have to haul cardboard and burlap between our houses and the orchard. We hope to get funding to rebuild the roof this fall. The result will be more standing headroom, light and ventilation, a larger roof to support water catchment and to shield our communications board from weather.

Sun, Jul 20, 2-4pm, Work Party & Grill
Bring a favorite veggie.
Tue, Aug 5, 6-9pm, Night Out
Bring a chair. It’s a potluck.
Sun, Aug 10, 3pm, Qi Gong
Free. No experience required.

Where will that funding come from? We are still keeping our fingers crossed for another Seattle Neighborhood Matching Fund grant. Our grant application was first reviewed in detail. Then, in June, Nancy and Michelle did a wonderful job putting together a display of our project and pleaded our case in front of 30 or so members of the Citywide Review Team.

There are now three more tough hoops to jump through, including a review by Mayor Murray. If we make it all the way through the City Council vote, we should hear by the first week in August whether we would have funding to bring water to the site, add a path, rebuild the shed and build garden beds.

Meanwhile, we are starting to harvest!

Several volunteers are having the breakfast of champions, adding honeyberry, five types of strawberries and now blueberries on their 140527 berries cereal DSCN0820cereal this year (see photo.) Two varieties of strawberries are day neutral and we should enjoy them the rest of the summer.

Day neutral does not mean the berries don’t care what day it is. Different plants flower depending on the daily length of uninterrupted darkness.

Plants are classified into three categories: short-day (long-night), long-day (short-night), or day-neutral, depending on their response to the duration of light or darkness.

Short-day plants form flowers only when day length is less than about 12 hours. In contrast, long-day plants form flowers only when day length exceeds 12 hours.

Day neutral plants form flowers regardless of day length. Examples are tomato, corn, cucumber, and some strawberry cultivars – such as our Aromas and Seascape. http://cru.cahe.wsu.edu/CEPublications/FS132E/FS132E.pdf

We also have fall bearing raspberries, Tulameen and Heritage, in addition to the June bearing Willamette.

Finally, best of all, look for a few apples this fall!


Persistence Pays

oak log sprout DSCN0815May 16, 2014

The photo shows new sprouting on this oak log that was cut last fall. It was a reject from the mushroom inoculation event because it was too small. It’s still alive!

That’s persistent. Scientists please add to the conversation, but one explanation is that the cut wood forms a new meristem, which allows the growth of new organs (leaves, flowers, roots).

Our fine orchard volunteers have also shown great persistence recently. Let’s review what they have accomplished:

1) The blackberry patch is gone! It took four work parties and a lot of wrestling and forking to get at those roots.

2) We finally finished our Community Design Grant and our report was accepted. Please celebrate those volunteers who put in more than 20 hours toward administrative work for that grant: Justin Hansen, Joan Davis, Nancy Helm, Dana Spindler, Max Menchaca Dean Wenick, Ruth Callard and Michelle Perham.

3) The new construction grant application has been submitted. After much searching for cost estimates, talking with other garden representatives, and appealing for volunteer labor and material commitments, we are seeking $43,000 to add a water system, a shed with water catchment, garden plots and a crushed rock path, including ADA features. How wonderful it will be to keep supplies at the orchard.

4) We finally have WSDOT review for many of the design features that the public desired. It will still take many more months and possible permit costs but we should know soon which features we could add to serve the neighborhood.

Thank you to everyone who had a part in the success of the last 12 months.

Sun, May 18, 2-4pm, Work Party
Soft rakes needed.
Sat, Jun 7, 2-4pm, Work Party
Sun, Jun 15, 2-4pm, Work Party

Should we be awarded another matching grant from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, we will likely begin construction in September. Your volunteer time is worth $20/hour toward the total $43,000 match for the 12-month construction period, beginning August or September this year.

Any volunteer hours put in from May 5 forward count toward our grant match. Please keep us up to date on your volunteer hours. You can email them to Joan or Ruth or add them to the Volunteer page on the website. Every hour counts!

If you have specialized skills to donate, we can count them at market rate per hour.

Don’t forget, if you work for an organization that matches your hours with cash donations, we will doubly benefit. Examples of such organizations, and links for employees, are:
Century Link

If you shop for orchard materials or supplies this year, know that you can print out our P-Patch Trust 501(c)(3) letter from the Volunteer page on our website and take it with you when you ask for a non-profit discount.


photo 211 Jap cone bestThe Japanese Pine was flush with pine cones last week. The cones are only1/2″ tall!