Archive for June, 2011

Garden planning session: July 21 from 6-8 pm

Progress! The Seattle Parks Department is aiming to start bed construction the week of July 11, at a slightly modified location that will take advantage of an underutilized area of the park.

Anyone interested in joining us for a planning session to determine the immediate future of the Miller Community Center Garden should swing by Miller from 6-8 pm on Thursday, July 21. If the weather cooperates we’ll meet outside, otherwise we have a room reserved inside the center.

Snacks and beverages will be provided – all you need to bring is some enthusiasm for the project! Please email if you plan to attend:

The Miller CC blog is going camping to celebrate the nation’s independence – check back next week for more updates. In the meantime, have a s’more on us:


June 30, 2011 at 10:30 am Leave a comment

Miller CC Garden and the Bigger Food System Picture

Watching the support for the Miller CC Garden project grow is just amazing.  This summer it’s going to be great watching the beds go in and the plants begin to grow.  The community around Miller CC is indeed fabulous, and I’m happy to say in excellent company on the community food frontier.  Miller CC is 1 of 8 community centers that is supporting a garden as part of a community food system in Seattle.

Community Food System?  It sounds a little wonky and bureaucratic, but it’s pretty simple: connect community gardens, local food distribution, community kitchens and meals with composting programs at a single location.  This brings different groups together to feed themselves and the community.   The groups and programs support each other, making the system sustainable and convenient, too.  Plus, it brings more folks to the Park and the Community Center to engage in new activities.

At Miller CC, many of the pieces of the food system are already in place: Full Circle CSA (distribution), Community Kitchen (schools) and Senior Food and Fitness (community meals).  The garden is the final piece in the system.

This pilot program will run through the next year.  Then, each site will be evaluated to see if it’s a valuable and sustainable model for those communities.  This pilot program allows us the space to be creative and flexible.  On this trial basis we can try new ideas and then look at the results to create permanent programs.

The Pilot program is part of the Parks Urban Food System Initiative (PUFS), where Parks is growing community through food programs.

Happy harvesters at the Rainier CC garden last fall, also part of the pilot program.

If you have any questions about the pilot program in general or the Miller CC garden specifically, please email

June 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Feature Friday: Madison Market Central Co-Op

You can’t get closer to the ideals espoused through community gardening than a local food co-op. One exemplary co-op is Madison Market, faithfully serving the Capitol hill area “with wholesome food produced in a way that didn’t exploit the Earth or its inhabitants” since 1978. Now that’s our kind of store.

So what is a co-op, exactly? Much like a community garden, it is an organization that is owned and run by its members. By keeping ownership local and varied, a co-op can continue to meet its original community-serving goals without such pesky interferences as a remote owner demanding higher profit margins.

Madison Market provides luscious meats and cheeses, fresh and fairly-farmed produce, a huge bulk foods and spices section, and a host of “off-the-beaten-path” ingredients impossible to find at a big-box store. Goats milk? Check. Bach remedies? Check. Every type of gluten-free flour known to man? Check, check, check. It has everything you would expect from a grocery store, just better. One enormous advantage of shopping at a co-op is you don’t have to fret over which item is the “best” to buy in terms of environmental impact: they’ve done the leg work for you.

In addition to its great food, Madison Market actively engages with the community through generous charitable donations and other community services such as its newsletter. How many business websites have a section on their website for community organizations to request a donation? And of those, how many can you expect to actually hear back from? If it’s a local organization that espouses the values of Madison Market, odds are pretty good that the organization can expect some MM love.

Shopping at Madison Market is good for you, good for the community, good for the world. And, they won’t give you any grief if you aren’t a co-op member – all community-minded shoppers welcome!

June 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm Leave a comment

King County Gives Big

Today is the King County “GiveBIG” challenge. Residents are encouraged to donate by midnight tonight to one of these local organizations. In exchange, The Seattle Foundation is giving $500,000 to a pool for participating organizations.

This day of giving is similar to the spirit of community gardening – people coming together to rally around something for the greater good of the community in which they live. And maybe, just a little, for that warm fuzzy feeling we get when we volunteer our time or money to something we value.


June 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm Leave a comment

Celebrating the life of René Soulard

For those of you who have been active in the Miller Park neighborhood or anything associated with the Miller Community Center, you are probably already aware of the unexpected passing of one of the neighborhood’s greatest champions, René Soulard, in April of this year.

For others who are relatively new to the area/community, myself included, Mr. Soulard was a co-founder of the Miller neighborhood association in 1989. Through the years he helped combat local crime via the Community Police Team, designed a plan for the Miller Community Center grounds, pushed for a new community center to be built, and then helped design it once approved. Here are some links if you’re interested in learning more about him:

I can only assume that Mr. Soulard would be enthusiastic about the idea of adding a community garden to the Miller CC grounds. It has been suggested that a memorial in his honor be incorporated into the new garden. If you have any ideas about how this would best be accomplished (for instance, what were his favorite flowers/trees/vegetables?) please leave a comment or send an email to:

June 22, 2011 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

Happy Solstice!

Wishing everyone a very happy Summer Solstice from Miller Community Center Garden. What a gorgeous day to kick off what we hope will be a season of bountiful growing, new friends, and strengthened community.

June 21, 2011 at 10:17 am Leave a comment

Capitol Hill Seattle blog shout-out

Thanks to our neighbors at the Capitol Hill Seattle blog for featuring our fledgling community garden:

Green thumb notes: New Miller garden, Hill library needs weeding, Montlake kids eat green

The CHS blog is an excellent resource of local information, from new projects and businesses to noteworthy events to news big and small. Add it to your favorites to stay in touch with all the community happenings.

Thanks again, CHS!

June 20, 2011 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

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