It’s hard to call this our new home without recognizing the fact that we didn’t have a home in the first place. I guess I should say that The Little Red Hen Project has finally been adopted. After a year of searching, The Delridge Community Center has taken us in. For months, we scoured the Delridge corridor for a place to set up. We started with a piece of private land on Longfellow Creek, that did not work out, the landowner likes privacy, and this kind of garden is going to be noisy. The second spot was a big double lot on Longfellow Creek, this one, off the beaten path and full of big trees and open sun, was owned by SPU and they don’t like to share. Then we found an incredible piece of land, owned by Seattle Parks with a big sculpture with large garden beds that were not maintained and were full of ornamental grasses and invasive non-edibles. This spot looked like the perfect option. Turns out, the sculpture is an SPU steward piece. We knew that story. So we sat on our laurels for a bit, all the while talking ourselves up to the community and never giving up on the idea that our home was waiting. Then our good friend, Sheila Brown, the director of our beloved Camp Long told us that the Delridge Community Center has garden beds, but needed some help in getting started. (!!)
I walked into the DCC three weeks ago, my truck turned into the parking lot like it was on auto pilot. I am apt to whims and this was just one of them. I walked to the front counter, where I was greeted by a young looking man in a ball cap. I asked for the director, but she was on vacation. I started to tell the man what I was up to. He listened until I was sure he thought I was nuts and would take my message and toss it. But then he spoke. He told me that he is the director of the teen programs at DCC. He told me that he had tried to start a garden program for his kids, but used treated wood for their beds and they were unable to plant edibles. Without the edibles, the kids lost interest after the flowers faded. He was very interested in having us come in and have a meeting with the DCC director to see how we could integrate into their programs.
So a week later we met. The beds are full of inedibles and invasives and as the teen director, Daryl Look, DCC director, Alice Ware, and Whitney and I rounded the corners of the space, we started to see the potential that was lying dormant in the grounds. We spoke with the director, and as we spoke, it became very clear that we were no longer begging for a space, that instead, we were explaining how we could be partners. Alice nodded her head, and it was obvious that we could move in. There is more to the gardens than the simple raised beds that are there now, and it will be very fun and exciting to watch as the gardens begin to take shape.
We will break ground very soon.
Thank you for hanging in there as we move forward with our community. This is sure to be a great year for the Little Red Hen Project.