Japanese students travel 5,700 miles to volunteer in Pickering Garden

August 7, 2012

Falaah Jones (right), garden coordinator from Seattle Tilth, teaches visiting Japanese students about gardening at the city’s Pickering Garden on July 27. Contributed

The Pickering Garden had some unique visitors July 27, more than 20 students from Okinawa, Japan.

The students are part of a summer homestay program through Cultural Homestay International. They will spend one month with host families exploring the Puget Sound area. On their third day, they volunteered at the Pickering Garden with Falaah Jones, garden coordinator from Seattle Tilth. It was the students’ first visit to the United States.

Risa Kamiya and Showei Mori said they like the forest, trees and mountains covered with snow, something they have never seen before. Host families have one or two students in their home at a time.

“Everyone learns,” tour coordinator Cathy Kramer said. “It’s a great opportunity.”

The Japanese students didn’t know each other before the trip but Kramer said they made friends very quickly. Each day, the students have three-hour classes to learn about English and culture.

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Pickering Barn garden gets $19,000 grant for upgrade

February 14, 2012

The city has received a $19,000 grant from the King Conservation District to improve the Pickering Barn Demonstration Garden — a showcase for organic gardening and a source for the local food bank.

In addition to garden upgrades, officials intend to use grant dollars to improve the site and add more educational components. Seattle Tilth, a regional leader in sustainable organic gardening and public education in natural yard care practices, oversees the garden’s education component.

Plans call for the expanded education component to operate alongside the Issaquah School District and the municipal Parks & Recreation Department. The school district program aims to provide in-classroom teaching, teacher training and transportation for schoolchildren from campuses to the garden. The program through the parks department calls for classes in the garden for after-school community programs. The grant is meant to help transport children to the garden for the program.

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Issaquah Farmers Market closes for season Saturday

October 6, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 6, 2011

Fall settled in last month, and the Issaquah Farmers Market is poised to pack up for the season Saturday.

The market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pickering Farm, 1730 10th Ave. N.W.

For the last market Saturday of the year, the farmers market is hosting Tacoma Glassblowing Studio. Glassblowers plan to transform Pickering Barn into a pumpkin patch of blown-glass gourds. The patch is expected to feature more than 2,000 glass pumpkins, ranging from small to jumbo.

The patch is set up to resemble a natural pumpkin patch, and includes hay bales, scarecrows and other autumnal decorations.

In addition to the glass pumpkin patch, the market features a cooking demonstration from Lisa Dupar Catering from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Gardeners can stop by the Seattle Tilth Hotline Booth for answers to gardening questions. Seattle Tilth also has a garden work party planned in the community garden behind the barn.

Greenway pioneer receives top environmental honor

July 13, 2010

Mountains to Sound Greenway pioneer Ted Thomsen — “the unsung hero” behind the 101-mile greenbelt — received the highest environmental honor in Issaquah in a City Hall ceremony last week.

The late Thomsen received the Ruth Kees Award for a Sustainable Community — the prize named for the late environmentalist, a tireless advocate for open space preservation. The city selected Thomsen for the yearslong effort to establish a billboard-free greenbelt from Seattle to Central Washington along Interstate 90.

Cynthia Welti, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust executive director, nominated Thomsen for the honor.

“He was essential to bringing the greenway vision to fruition,” she recalled in the nomination. “Ted is the unsung hero of the launch of this tremendous coalition effort.”

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City gets conservation grants

March 23, 2010

City Council members accepted a pair of King Conservation District grants to improve Pickering Garden and mark storm drains. Read more

Bring questions to garden, historic roads open houses Thursday

June 24, 2009

NEW — 3:15 p.m. June 24, 2009

Pickering Farm Garden open house

Bring fresh ideas to a city open house Thursday night. City officials and Seattle Tilth staffers want to hear suggestions for improving Pickering Farm Garden.

The open house is from 5-7 p.m. at City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th Ave. N.W.

City officials formed a partnership with the Tilth to plant the seed for the garden’s vision, design and growth.

Officials have received several ideas for the garden, including establishing city demonstration gardens, offering hands-on educational opportunities for organic gardening, creating a hub of a connected community trail system that includes other community garden sites and connecting to a Gilman Boulevard edible landscaping parkway.

Pickering Farm Garden is located on the west side of Pickering Barn. City and Tilth employees hosted an earlier open house related to the garden June 11.

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Bring fresh ideas to Pickering Garden open houses

June 8, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. June 8, 2009

City officials and Seattle Tilth staffers will host two open houses for people interested in improving Pickering Farm Garden.

The first open house is from 5-7 p.m. June 11 at City Hall, 130 E. Sunset Way. The second open house is from 5-7 p.m. June 25 at City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th Ave. N.W.

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