Today’s post is written by Joanna Lepore, artist and our host for last week’s “Agro-A-Go-Go” cycling adventure.
On a cool summer morning, a small but merry band of bicycles departed from Cal Anderson park en route to the Beacon Food Forest. Led by artist Joanna Lepore, the group set out to discover the edible understory of Seattle’s most dense neighborhoods.
We paused at Community Supported Vertical Agriculture (CSVA), a multimedia living pallet garden on Sound Transit’s Red Wall, created by Lepore. The pallet is watered by gravity-fed drip irrigation, leading us into a discussion about watering needs during the dry season.
After a detour through a pocket P-Patch in the heart of Capitol Hill, we arrived at Alleycat Acres on 22nd and Union. The borage flowers were in full swing, swarmed by honeybees. We were impressed by the farm’s professional trellising system for tomatoes and marveled over the plants’ heavy fruit set.
We meandered through the Central District to Columbia Street, spotting parking strip raspberry bushes and carefully cultivated traffic circles amidst barren lots and construction zones. Zipping east along the Pollinator Pathway, we caught bursts of color and the scent of lavender. We took a detour to a private home near Dearborn & MLK famous for unique stacked container gardens- an inspiration for the re-use of household junk!
After a fast ride through I-90 trail to Beacon Hill Greenway, we climbed up 18th S.; our labor brightened by the presence of vibrant flower gardens and terraced vegetables. Cresting the hill at Lander Street, we headed to the Cesar Chavez Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden at El Centro de la Raza.
We stopped by several lively urban farms as we followed the Greenway to the end of our journey, the Beacon Food Forest. The sun shining brightly, we were treated to a tour and history of the project by co-founder Glenn. The Forest was in a full swing work-party; volunteers were mulching new trees and tending veggies in the ‘sharing garden.’
Want to see or ride it for yourself? Download this map here for a full list of site and locations.
Photos by Adam Balfour and Joanna Lepore.