Photo courtesy of Sustainable Ballard.
Gardeners touring last year.

Do you have a green thumb? Sustainable Ballard to host sixth annual Edible Garden Tour

Green thumbs across Ballard will be pleased to hear Ballard Sustainable is hosting their sixth annual Edible Garden Tour Saturday June 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year over a dozen urban farms/gardens will open for touring starting with the Ballard P-Patch next to Our Redeemer’s Church (Northwest 85th Street and 25th Avenue Northwest).

Jennifer Mundee, a project leader for Sustainable Ballard said this year they have a few new things to offer and hopefully it inspires and educates attendees.

The tour starts at the Ballard P-Patch, which is just behind the parking lot at Our Redeemers. The patch offers a plethora of planting examples for viewers.

“Ballard has a well organized P-Patch, and we’ve started there in the past so we thought it would be a good place this year where people can see all the gardens that people have come up with and then check out the other ones at peoples’ homes," said Mundee.

Moreover, attendees will be able to view examples of the City sponsored Giving Gardens that the P-Patch Gardeners have devised. Since the patch is on public property, Giving Gardens are allotted spaces where gardeners grow food for food banks and soup kitchens in exchange for their own personal growing space.

“This year we have a pretty good range between entry level gardens and more experienced gardeners. That’s one thing we try to do is have gardens for novice gardens, so they don’t feel like it’s beyond their skill range, and also feature more extensive gardens so everyone at every level has something to learn,” said Mundee.

A new feature this year is an urban farm where chickens and goats are raised along side gardens. Attendees will be able to meet the farmers and find out the various farming strategies used for successful sustainability.

“Our group is all about encouraging people to be more green and sustainable in their personal lives, and we do that by introducing people to other gardens. It’s meant to be an inspirational event.“

On the tour citizens can expect to see fruit trees and lots of folks growing raspberries and strawberries. Moreover there will be plenty of raised beds, containers and growing techniques abound. Mundee said that kale and chard are very popular this year as well as peas, tomatoes and lettuce varieties.

“We wanted to make it a walkable and bikable tour, and each year we pick a small section of Ballard where people can view gardens. We encourage people to bike and walk as a group.”

Moreover, since Sustainable Ballard has been working closely with the City’s Rainwise program, they will feature a map of Rainwise gardens. Attendees will be able view and discuss the gardens with owners. Rainwise gardens are designed to filter runoff water into vegetated soil and compost enriched landscapes so less polluted water ends up in Puget Sound.

In addition, Sustainable Ballard members have been working closely with the Little Free Library program (http://littlefreelibrary.org/) and will feature libraries in the area. Little Free Libraries is a national program that has gained momentum in Ballard. Small houses are constructed to contain free books that citizens can trade in exchange for a different book. No library cards are required and say good-bye to late fees.

“Featuring all the programs is a good way of mixing all of our community projects and hopefully after seeing the different programs we are a part of people will walk away inspired.”

“For me, it’s been really eye opening to see how many people are willing to share their experiences and teach other people what they’ve learned. Hopefully it inspires people to go back home and try the things they saw on the tour. … I think people are excited to share what they know and others are ready to try new things.”

Free parking is available to drivers and a $10 donation is encouraged to help support the tour. For more information visit www.SustainableBallard.org.

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