Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Showers of Blessing

Through a contact at Seattle University, Sustainable Renton heard of an amazing opportunity. King County is preparing to develop the site on which 10 years of confiscated marijuana growing equipment is currently stored and not used. The intention is for the equipment to go to NGOs and community organizations but so far there has been little to no interest in the equipment. Since I'm with Sustainable Renton, Farm Liaison is my official title, I was also encouraged to take enough for myself as well.

Storage #1

Storage #2

I was giddy. Skipping through the poorly demarcated aisles grinning like a fool and speaking in a excited squeaky voice I haven't heard from my throat in a very long time, giddy. There MUST be gardening in heaven since it was man's first job and brings me and so many others so much pleasure! I so dub this lot in Maple Valley a little piece of heaven.

Ballasts, electrical wiring, timers, light hoods, bulbs, air filters, AC units, CO2 generators and monitors, fans, ducting, bamboo, peat pods, buckets, fertilizer, water pumps, every possible piece of equipment you need for a greenhouse. Hydroponics, specifically, but I don't have the setup or knowhow for that. What matters to me is everything needed for a standard greenhouse is here. And it's FREE!

Sometime soon everything will go in the dump to make way for bigger and better things. We don't actually know when that will be but it's always getting closer.

My first load. Still need the ballasts, at least, but I set a bunch of other things 
aside for a future pick-up, too.

For a little perspective: one artificial light unit requires a ballast, a hood, a bulb, and optionally a timer. Around $250. I got 12 sets. Four for each greenhouse. Not to mention the fans, ducting, air purifying, timers, monitors, wiring, chain, hooks, bamboo... can you say, bounty? And we didn't have time to grab or the room to transport the backup units.

This is yet another example of how things are moving so quickly for Sustainable Renton. We can barely keep up with the demand for plots, the outpouring of equipment and gifts, the specialized volunteers, the potential grant applications, etc. We can't do it! I am so happy to be a part of something that is such a need and a desire in my community but I won't hesitate to say that we need more volunteers!  We need people to maintain the four beds under Sustainable Renton; two for the Renton Food Bank, and two for the Red House restaurant. People to come out in force for work parties; we have a mostly finished pallat board shed and half finished deer fence. People who can write business plans, grant applications, people with expertise and connections. So many people are interested in helping Sustainable Renton grow with information and things but we need right now is more people to help manage those resources.

After these bounties of blessings I relieved Chris Conkling at our booth at the Renton Farmer's Market and spread the word of what we're doing. Many people went home with little planted peat pots thanks to the friendly looting earlier. We filled up two pages of people wanting to be added to our e-mail list and had some very thought provoking discussions. I am really excited to see how those connections grow into something earth-moving. Maybe Renton-moving?... Nah. I'll have to think up something more catchy.

If you are interested in being a part of this organization please e-mail sustainablerenton@gmail.com and/or find us on Facebook.

If you are interested in greenhouse equipment please e-mail Angie Sowell at dread.pirate.angie@gmail.com to arrange a pick-up time.

Thanks to the above and a few donations we are set to build our family farm greenhouses. The first will be an "atrium" style attached to the sunny rear of my house. That will keep the most delicate things more accessible. Once the plants are hardier they can go to the main garden location where sometimes they don't get watered as often as they should or equipment falls and doesn't get noticed for a while. The second will be a free-standing 10x20 on the main garden site.

P.S. check out the new Family Farm member born on Sunday!

Kora Hartt!

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