(Compiled by Shannon Maris, Garden E-News and Jeffrey Westcott)

Roving Garden Party! Tuesday, April 7th
Where
: 3515 18th St Bellingham (Mud bay). Parking will be limited, but you can also park up the road around the corner and walk down. (Map.)
Requested Items to Bring: Hand tools and gloves
Tasks:   Delicately dancing through the horsetails sprouting in the perennial beds!  Edging and transplanting veggies. The native shade garden could also use some attention. Rounding up slugs and checking the Deer Fence for hidden gaps.
Food:   A veggie chili is in order, salad and bread. Bring something, especially if you are gluten free.
Host: Alison Kutz
Contact: Alison@soundhorticulture.com 739-9095

Next week’s RGP will be at 2339 West Street, in Columbia Neighborhood.

And some other upcoming events…

NSEA Work Party-Lower Landingstrip Creek
Saturday, April 11th, 9am-12noon, Hwy 9 near Acme, Directions below
Join NSEA and the Whatcom Land Trust for another work party along Landingstrip Creek. We’ll be planting native trees and shrubs and spreading mulch. From Bellingham, head east on WA-542 E/Mt Baker Hwy for about 15 miles, then turn right onto Hwy 9 just outside of Deming. Drive along this road for about 7 miles then turn right on Turkington Rd. Parking is available at Acme Elementary School. Look for the NSEA signs and shuttle. We’ll bring the tools and gloves-all you have to do is wear sturdy shoes, long pants and weather appropriate clothing. No need to sign up in advance-just sign in at the blue NSEA tent.

Beginning Vegetable Gardening 
Saturday, April 11th,10:30am-noon, 6906 Goodwin Rd, Everson, WA 
Vegetable gardening is more than planting seeds. In this general overview learn how to successfully grow a wide variety of produce throughout the year, including how to get started, planning your plantings, managing your soil and fertility inputs, and timing for succession harvests. No registration required. Be prepared to be outside.

Antique & Collectibles Evaluation Show 
Saturday April 11, 11am-4pm, Whatcom Council on Aging, 315 Halleck Street, B’ham
It’s happening in April a version of TV’s Antique Roadshow in Bellingham! Events will include a classic car show, live music, food trucks and activities for the entire family on the side.  Entry is free – $6 per item for evaluation services. This is a fundraiser to benefit select programs for seniors at the Whatcom Council on Aging.  Parking is free at 315 Halleck Street, Bellingham, right by the Habitat for Humanities store! Doors open at 11am.  Call for more information 360-733-4030

Seed Starting Class
Saturday, April 11th,1:30-3:30pm, 6906 Goodwin Rd, Everson, WA 
Starting your own vegetable transplants at home can save you money and expand the varieties you can plant.  In this workshop we’ll discuss seed starting mediums, containers, sanitation, and fertility. This is a hands-on experience; you will go home with a flat of seeds ready to grow, and the skills to grow them successfully. Registration required, $30 course fee.

Lasagna Bed Gardening Workshop
Sunday, April 12, 11:45am, The Center For Spiritual Living,  2224 Yew St. Rd., B’ham
Lasagna beds produce 2-3 times more food than a regular garden, use less water, have little or no weeding and require no digging.  They are perfect for those who are short on time or those with physical limitations. Join Karol Stegman and friends for a three hour hands-on workshop and learn to construct a no-till Lasagna Bed garden.   Together we will establish our second annual Victory Garden to benefit the Bellingham Food Bank and community recipients. Please sign up, registration is required. Contact:  Call Karol at (360) 441-2835 or email at karolstiegman@gmail.com

 Best Selling Author, Woody Wheeler, Returns to Alma Mater
Wednesday, April 15th, 7-8:30pm, Village Books, 1200 11st, Fairhaven
Conservationist Woody Wheeler returns to Bellingham. With the release of his new book, Look Up!, comes a whole new way to care about conservation. The collection of essays found in Look Up! explore the psychological benefits of protecting our environment and are the product of decades of Wheeler’s academic work, experience as an educator, and founder of the birding and natural history firm, Conservation Catalyst.

 Earth Day Work Party with NSEA-Terrell Creek
Saturday, April 18th, 9am-12noon, Hwy 9 near Acme, Directions below
Please join NSEA, Whatcom Conservation District, Chums of Terrell Creek and BP to celebrate Earth Day by planting native trees, mulching and removing invasive blackberries along Terrell Creek! Complimentary T-shirts and BBQ lunch for volunteers from 12:00-1:30. We’ll bring the tools, gloves and refreshments, please wear sturdy shoes, long pants and weather appropriate clothing. No need to sign up in advance, just sign-in at the blue NSEA tent. Parking is limited, please carpool if you can.

If your event included in the newsletter, please submit it here.

And here are some other interesting tidbits of information…

To Do in the Northwest Edible Garden: April 2015
2015 has been unseasonably warm and dry all the way up the west coast. Warm and dry is relative – this is still moss country, after all – but I’d say we’re about a month ahead of what I typically expect for spring weather, and the soil is far less saturated than I’m used to.

Vegetables and Herbs for Growing in Shade
A garden site that receives as few as two hours of direct sunlight a day can grow vegetables. A garden that gets only dappled sunlight during the day can grow vegetables.

Urban Agriculture in Cuba: Parts One and Two
Alice Claydon is one of three Student Travel Award 2014 recipients. She recently visited Cuba to investigate urban agriculture. Growing more food in cities improves biodiversity, air pollution, green space, public health, food literacy, community engagement, employment prospects and urban regeneration.

(Compiled by Jeffrey Westcott) 

Roving Garden Party! Tuesday, March 31st
Host: Bill Sterling
Address: 2306 North Shore Rd.
Directions: Head out North Shore along Lake Whatcom approximately 3.5 miles past Britton Rd. When you start down the “S” curves and past the Sandstone cliffs we are the next driveway on the left. The house behind the road there are 9 parking spots and you can park on the grass along the driveway if weather cooperates
Requested Items to Bring: I have tools but if someone has a special weeding tool please bring it
Tasks: Will include weeding, moving chips to trails, top dressing with compost and transplanting last year’s cuttings
Food: I’m an Omnivore and I will have options for folks with special food needs or restrictions
Host Info: Bill Sterling    billtubaman@gmail.com    303-4536
North Shore Terrace is an ongoing homestead project and works towards a higher degree of self-reliance thru application of multiple homestead skills. Text me if you want to carpool out there with us: 927-8735. 

Next week’s RGP will be at 1712 Larrabee Avenue in Fairhaven. 

And some other upcoming events…

NSEA Work Party-Padden Creek
Saturday, April 4th, 9am-12noon, Near Harris and 6th, Directions below
Come join Bellingham Parks and NSEA at this water front location! We will be planting natives and removing invasive plants along Padden Creek. Park on Harris Ave., near the intersection of Harris and 6th St. Look for signs to trail head. We’ll bring the tools and gloves-all you have to do is wear sturdy shoes, long pants and weather appropriate clothing. No need to sign up in advance-just sign in at the blue NSEA tent.

NSEA Work Party-Lower Landingstrip Creek
Saturday, April 11th, 9am-12noon, Hwy 9 near Acme, Directions below
Join NSEA and the Whatcom Land Trust for another work party along Landingstrip Creek. We’ll be planting native trees and shrubs and spreading mulch. From Bellingham, head east on WA-542 E/Mt Baker Hwy for about 15 miles, then turn right onto Hwy 9 just outside of Deming. Drive along this road for about 7 miles then turn right on Turkington Rd. Parking is available at Acme Elementary School. Look for the NSEA signs and shuttle. We’ll bring the tools and gloves-all you have to do is wear sturdy shoes, long pants and weather appropriate clothing. No need to sign up in advance-just sign in at the blue NSEA tent.

Antique & Collectibles Evaluation Show 
Saturday April 11, 11am-4pm, Whatcom Council on Aging, 315 Halleck Street, B’ham
It’s happening in April a version of TV’s Antique Roadshow in Bellingham! Events will include a classic car show, live music, food trucks and activities for the entire family on the side.  Entry is free – $6 per item for evaluation services. This is a fundraiser to benefit select programs for seniors at the Whatcom Council on Aging.  Parking is free at 315 Halleck Street, Bellingham  right by the Habitat for Humanities store! Doors open at 11am.  Call for more information 360-733-4030

If you want your event to reach almost a thousand people, submit it here. Hopefully, and if I do not heed if the call of the sea or mountains, I will send it out weekly until the summer.

And here are some other interesting tidbits of information…

Silent Rooftop Wind Turbines
Silent rooftop wind turbines could generate half of a household’s energy needs. A Dutch renewable energy start-up called The Archimedes is working to solve both of those problems in a new class of small-scale wind turbine — one that is almost silent and is far more efficient at converting wind into energy. The company states that the Liam F1 turbine could generate 1,500 kWh of energy per year at wind speeds of 5m/s, enough to cover half of an average household’s energy use. (Remember this is an uber-efficent Dutch household’s energy usage, not U.S. – it theoretically covers about a third of my 800sf home’s energy usage.)

Craigslist Saved 5M Tons of Stuff From Landfills—And 4 Other New Stats on Local Economies
Exactly how much difference do “new economy” organizations make? Economists looked into it, and here are a few of their results.

Depaving Cities, Undamming Rivers—Here’s How We’re Undoing the Damage
I found this other article on the Yes! Magazine that was too good to pass up. 

The Many Health Benefits of Dancing
I have never met anyone who regretted dancing in any form – whether organized or out at the local Bellingham music venues. Make time in your life to dance.  

One Women Takes on Three Acres – A Permaculture Adventure
An example of how an abundant permaculture garden can be created in all conditions – even wet west Ireland. Colette O’Neill shares her experience.

Asparagus Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
Prep time: 1 hour,  2 servings
130g (1/4lb) dried chickpeas
300g (2/3lb) green asparagus
3-4 tbs olive oil
2 tbs za’atar
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs apple syrup
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sumac
1 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sesame oil

Let the chickpeas soak in water over night, cook 45 minutes in salt water and drain when tender. Spread with 1-2 tbs olive oil, za’atar and mix everything until the chickpeas are coated with the spice mix. Before serving, roast 3-4 minutes in a pan. Don’t let the spices burn. You should take the chickpeas off the stove when the sesame seeds start to pop.

Rinse the asparagus and snap off the ends. Peel the stalks into thin slices. For the dressing, cook the apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, apple syrup and sumac in a small pan. Chop the garlic into small pieces and add it with the remaining ingredients to the stock. Season with sea salt, simmer, take it off the stove and add the asparagus. The asparagus now cooks in the remaining heat of the pan and the warm dressing. Serve with the roasted chickpeas after five minutes.

(Compiled by Jeffrey Westcott)

Roving Garden Party! Tuesday, March 24th
Where: 5463 Noon Rd ~ just a few driveways north of Smith Rd ~ Watch for parking signs!! Parking will be in property next to me, watch for signs!!
Requested Items to Bring: PLEASE bring wheel barrows (there will be some here), trench shovels (I have one), Shovels (I have 3), clippers (I have a couple) and heavy gloves if you have them,
Tasks:
* Putting in two rain barrels, all supplies will be ready to go and a Rain-barrel buddy friend will lead! Brad Walters
* Moving chips (not bark) onto various berry bushes……..with wheel barrows and flat headed shovels….
* Baby Blackberry Patrol ~ Going through the property in a systematic way scouting out rogue small blackberry plant starts and digging them deeply and easily due to moist ground and small Blackberries to keep atop of irradication people could take home any of these for starts if they want.
Food: Chili feed, Cornbread and salad, passion apple cider.
(Gluten free – omnivore/vegetarian/vegan, wine, beer and any other legal substances welcome!)
Host: Jamie Jean Lima Bean Queen
mobile ~ 360-746-4270, please call or text with any questions
Next Week’s RGP will be at Bill Sterling’s place out on Lake Whatcom at 2306 North Shore Rd. See you there! 

And some other upcoming events…

Come Spend a Day on the Farm!
Tuesdays, ongoing, 10am, Inspiration Farms, East Laurel Road
Inspiration Farms would like to announce a free weekly, experiential hands-on opportunity at Inspiration Farm every Tuesday at 10am. They will provide people a way to visit the farm and get involved with events of the day. Come learn aspects of what it takes to set up and run a productive permaculture and biodynamic farm. Feel free to share this with your friends. See you then!

PechaKucha Presents KAPOW Finalists
Wednesday, March 25th, 6-9pm, Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N Commercial St, B’ham
Join us at the 6th annual PechaKucha event where 10 finalists from the KAPOW placemaking competition will present their ideas for building a stronger, healthier and more vibrant downtown. Three ideas will be chosen for implementation (one mayor’s award, one jury selected award, and one people’s choice award). Participate in live voting, enjoy local beer & music, dress up like a superhero and be the first to find out what projects will be implemented in Downtown Bellingham. All proceeds from the event go to the winners for implementation!

NSEA Work Party-Upper Landingstrip Creek
Saturday, March 28th, 9am-12noon, Directions below
Join Whatcom Land Trust and NSEA in planting native trees and shrubs and removing invasive plants around this new site. From Bellingham, head east on WA-542 E/Mt Baker Hwy for about 15 miles, then turn right onto Hwy 9 just outside of Deming. Drive along this road for about 7 miles then turn right on Turkington Rd. Parking is available at Acme Elementary School. Look for the NSEA signs and shuttle. We’ll bring the tools and gloves-all you have to do is wear sturdy shoes, long pants and weather appropriate clothing. No need to sign up in advance-just sign in at the blue NSEA tent.

22nd Annual Native Plant Sale and Expo
Saturday, March 28th, 9am-2pm, Whatcom Community College, Roe Studio, 237 W. Kellogg Rd, B’ham
Come and join us in our celebration of spring by purchasing low cost native plants at Whatcom Conservation District’s Annual Plant Sale and Expo! This year there will be 40 different species of native, bareroot trees and shrubs along with a variety of potted perennials. Some of this year’s species include yellow and western red cedars, Puget Sound juniper, western larch, garry oak, red elderberry, red flowering currant, beaked hazelnut, and more! Once again, several local nursery vendors and environmental organizations will be there to provide even more plant purchasing options. The festivities include a variety of fun, earth-friendly educational opportunities, entertainment, and food.

Fairhaven Neighbors 27th Annual Plant & Tree Sale
Saturday, March 28th, 10am-3pm, Hillcrest Chapel parking lot (corner of 14th & Old Fairhaven Pkwy)
Plan to attend this annual event to shop local vendors of native and specialty plants—from bedding plants to trees— to get an early start on your 2015 gardening. Along with expert advice from participating vendors, gardeners may find perennials, ornamentals, trees, native plants, herbs, vegetable starts, blueberries, bamboo, garden décor, and much more.

Planning and Planting a Permaculture Paradise
Saturday, March 28th, 10am-5pm, The Cedar Tree House, 1733 Mt. Baker Highway
Hands-on learning: Food Forests, Plant Guilds, Landscaping, “Hugelkultur” Yard Debris Berms, Passive Irrigation, Instant Garden Beds, and a Special Biodynamic Barrel Compost Land Blessing! With Certified Permaculture Teacher and Eco-Landscaper Bruce Horowitz. $40 Pre-registration, $50 Day of event.

NSEA Work Party-Padden Creek
Saturday, April 4th, 9am-12noon, Near Harris and 6th, Directions below.
Come join Bellingham Parks and NSEA at this water front location! We will be planting natives and removing invasive plants along Padden Creek. Park on Harris Ave., near the intersection of Harris and 6th St. Look for signs to trail head. We’ll bring the tools and gloves-all you have to do is wear sturdy shoes, long pants and weather appropriate clothing. No need to sign up in advance-just sign in at the blue NSEA tent.

If you want your event to reach almost a thousand people, submit it here. I will begin sending these newsletters out weekly through the summer. Well that’s the plan, at least.

And here are some other interesting tidbits of information…

570-Pound Man Commits to Finishing a 5K Per Month in 2015
I am not a runner, and this subject is not really within the lines of the Sustainable Bellingham’s mission or objectives, but I still teared up when I read it. 
Derek Mitchell stayed focused on his goal of completing 3.1 miles at the Big 12 Run in Kansas City, Missouri, where he lives. At 570 pounds, it didn’t matter what the clock read at the finish. “I decided that, starting in March, I would do at least on 5K each month for the rest of the year,” Mitchell, 34, told Runner’s World Newswire.

20 Insanely Clever Gardening Tips And Ideas
Whether you like to get your hands dirty in the garden or not, it’s nice to have a few gardening tips and ideas up your sleeve. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks for your yard that I hadn’t heard of before. I thought they were all pretty clever, but then again, I’m still a rookie at this soil and seed stuff!

Natural Alternatives to Roundup are Quite Easy to Make
Gleaned from Facebook. I just use vinegar and water, and am not so sure about increasing the salt content my soil. Read it and decide what you think. 

They Brought Wolves To Yellowstone, But They Had No Idea This Would Be The Result
Pretty fascinating stuff to see…when nature reestablishes balance.  

Science Confirms Turmeric As Effective As 14 Drugs
Given the sheer density of research performed on this remarkable spice, it is no wonder that a growing number of studies have concluded that it compares favorably to a variety of conventional medications. And it’s a nice addition to anything from smoothies to stir-fries. 

Khoresh Rivas – Persian Rhubarb Stew
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
8 stalks of rhubarb–washed, dried and cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 pounds of meat (lamb or beef), washed and cubed
1 large onion– peeled, finely chopped
1 bunch of parsley– remove the thick stems, wash and chop (makes about 2 cups, packed)
1 bunch of mint, leaves only, wash and chop (makes about 1 cup, packed)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons sugar or to taste
Vegetable oil/olive oil
Water

Method:
– In a pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil and sauté chopped onions until translucent. Add turmeric, stir, add the meat and brown on all sides. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour enough water to cover the meat. Cover and cook for an hour on medium to low heat.
– In a medium-sized frying pan, sauté the chopped parsley and mint together in 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.
– Combine the parsley and mint mixture with the meat sauce half way through the cooking. Add water if necessary.
– Lightly sauté sliced rhubarbs in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add the rhubarb to the pot, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
– Taste and add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar or to taste, gently stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
– Serve warm with basmati rice.

(Compiled by Jeffrey Westcott)

ROVING GARDEN PARTY – TONIGHT!!
This should have gone out a few days ago, but better later than never.

A sure sign that spring s here…as the swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, the Roving Garden Parties return to Bellingham. Below is information on the first RGP, which will be convenient located in the York Neighborhood…TONIGHT!

 Please meet at Mary’s house at 1471 Grant Street, York Neighborhood, at 5:30PM. You may park on the street in front of the house or in the parking space behind 1471 in the alley. We will move from this location, across the alley to a neighbor’s, and finally, to City Gate on Holly Street across from the WECU. We will provide directions to City Gate from 1471 Grant Street at the party. All locations are within walking distance, so if you want to ride your bike or walk to 1471 Grant, please do so!

 Bring shovels, gloves and water.  We will be weeding, laying compost, double-digging one 5’ x 20’ veggie bed and building a compost bin system. We will have a veggie dog and burger BBQ with salads to accompany at City Gate, our final destination. Questions? Call 360-756-6643. 

And some other upcoming events…

NSEA Community Celebration
Thursday, March 19th, 6-8pm, The Leopold Retirement Center, 1224 Cornwall Ave, B’ham
The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association will host their Annual Community Celebration , which is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Attendees will learn about NSEA’s accomplishments of the 2014 year and our ongoing work to restore sustainable wild salmon runs in Whatcom County. The Annual Community Celebration is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the partnerships and community support that make NSEA’s salmon recovery work possible and discover new ways to get involved with NSEA!

NSEA Work Party-Squaw Creek
Saturday, March 21st, 9am-12noon, Directions below
Help NSEA plant, mulch and remove invasive blackberry at Squaw Creek located at Calvary Creekside Church. From Bellingham go north on Hwy 539 for about 15 miles. Turn right onto E. Badger Rd/Hwy 546 E and drive for about 5.5 miles. Look for the NSEA signs. We’ll bring the tools and gloves-all you have to do is wear sturdy shoes, long pants and weather appropriate clothing. No need to sign up in advance-just sign in at the blue NSEA tent.

Farm Fresh CSA Fair
Saturday, March 21st, 2- 5pm, Boundary Bay Brewery Beer Garden, Railroad Ave, B’ham
Meet local farms and learn more about getting a box of fresh local food for you and/or your family throughout the season. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares are an affordable, delicious, and easy way to Eat Local First all year long! Meet your farmer, savor a local pint and enjoy music at this FREE lively community event.

PechaKucha Presents KAPOW Finalists
Wednesday, March 25th, 6-9pm, Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N Commercial St, B’ham
Join us at the 6th annual PechaKucha event where 10 finalists from the KAPOW placemaking competition will present their ideas for building a stronger, healthier and more vibrant downtown. Three ideas will be chosen for implementation (one mayor’s award, one jury selected award, and one people’s choice award). Participate in live voting, enjoy local beer & music, dress up like a superhero and be the first to find out what projects will be implemented in Downtown Bellingham. All proceeds from the event go to the winners for implementation!

 22nd Annual Native Plant Sale and Expo
Saturday, March 28th, 9am-2pm, Whatcom Community College, Roe Studio, 237 W. Kellogg Rd, B’ham
Come and join us in our celebration of spring by purchasing low cost native plants at Whatcom Conservation District’s Annual Plant Sale and Expo! This year there will be 40 different species of native, bareroot trees and shrubs along with a variety of potted perennials. Some of this year’s species include yellow and western red cedars, Puget Sound juniper, western larch, garry oak, red elderberry, red flowering currant, beaked hazelnut, and more! Once again, several local nursery vendors and environmental organizations will be there to provide even more plant purchasing options. The festivities include a variety of fun, earth-friendly educational opportunities, entertainment, and food.

NSEA Work Party-Upper Landingstrip Creek
Saturday, March 28th, 9am-12noon, Directions below
Join Whatcom Land Trust and NSEA in planting native trees and shrubs and removing invasive plants around this new site. From Bellingham, head east on WA-542 E/Mt Baker Hwy for about 15 miles, then turn right onto Hwy 9 just outside of Deming. Drive along this road for about 7 miles then turn right on Turkington Rd. Parking is available at Acme Elementary School. Look for the NSEA signs and shuttle. We’ll bring the tools and gloves-all you have to do is wear sturdy shoes, long pants and weather appropriate clothing. No need to sign up in advance-just sign in at the blue NSEA tent.

And here are some other interesting tidbits of information…

Portland Now Generates Electricity From Turbines Installed In City Water Pipes
You’d be forgiven if the phrase “Portland goes green with innovative water pipes” doesn’t immediately call to mind thoughts of civil engineering and hydro-electric power. And yet, that’s exactly what Oregon’s largest city has done by partnering with a company called Lucid Energy to generate clean electricity from the water already flowing under its streets and through its pipes.

 Deer Fencing – A Neat Idea
I have been intrigued by reports of people using monofilament fishing line for fencing to repel deer. It is inexpensive and easy to install and maintain. I’ve also heard goo things from the locals using it in Bellingham. Here is anther link too in case the one above didn’t give you enough information.

22 Habits of Happy People
It doesn’t require much to explain the benefits of being happy over the alternatives. This article may give some simple, yet inspiring, suggestions. 

(Compiled by Shannon Maris/Garden E-News, Koelle Bodhi and Jeffrey Westcott)

Seeds
Thank you for attending and supporting another wonderful seed swap in late January. Your donations will ensure that we can hold this event in 2016. I was thinking of all the many, many people that I wanted to thank in this newsletter for making this event so successful. But then I realized that I would have missed a few names of people that played a really big part and then I would have felt pretty bad. All I can say is Thank You to all of you who supported this event on in any way that you did.

Peas
But spring, I’ve been told, is arriving about three weeks ahead of schedule. Peas are usually the first things to go in the ground, so here’s an interesting link I gleaned from the Whatcom County Gardeners page on Facebook. (Thanks Millard S.)

“…you can plant Pea seeds outside when soil temps are 40 degrees. Germination can take a month or more at 40. Most texts recommend planting them when soil temps hit 50 because germination is only 10 to 14 days at 50 (9 days at 60, but it takes forever for our soils to get to 60). Plant them in well drained soil or they rot. Peas can take a medium frost in spring. Or, start them indoors 10 to 14 days before the last spring frost and then transplant them. Here is a nice document on growing peas in Washington..”

RGPs
And Roving Gardens Parties are right around the corner too! Jean Kroll will be organizing these again this year (thanks Jean!). If you’ve never hosted a Roving Garden Party before, please contact me and I can pas your information on to Jean. We ask that we only work with edibles too: raised beds, planting fruit trees, veggies and tubers, etc. We are expected to begin Tuesday, April 1st., maybe sooner. Stay tuned, and please come and lend a hand this year or consider hosting one.

We will come and garden for ninety minutes at your place, and then you feed us. The crowd is usually 10-20 people, depending upon the weather, location, and a thousand other factors. It is a great way to meet wonderful people in the gardening community.

Here are some other upcoming events listed on the Sustainable Bellingham calendar…
(click here to list your event)

Fourth Corner Exchange New Member Meeting
Sunday January 25th, 4-5pm, Food Coop Connections 1220 N Forest St, B’ham

Take this opportunity to find out how our members use Life Dollars to exchange goods and services with one another within a cooperative economy. You will learn how our cooperative economy works and have the opportunity to have your questions answered. Come and join others in creating the New Cooperative Economy in the Pacific Northwest (including Canada).

AIA NW Washington 2015 Design Awards
Friday, February 20th 7-9:30pm, B’ham Cruise Terminal, 355 
Harris Ave. B’ham

The 2015 Northwest Washington AIA Design Awards celebrates the best architectural designs available from Architects in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island Counties. These projects represent the finest standards in sustainability, innovation, building performance and overall integration with the client and surrounding community.

Spring 2015 Work Party Schedule
Come join NSEA and help restore streamside habitat for salmon. We’ll bring the tools and gloves – just wear sturdy shoes, long pants and weather appropriate clothing. Check in at the blue NSEA tent. All ages are welcome, children under 18 will need an adult to sign registration form at check-in. Volunteers do not need to sign up with NSEA before a work party. We’ll see you at the creek!

3//7 – Deer Creek

3/14 – Smith Creek

3/28 – Squaw Creek

4/4 – Padden Creek

4/11 – Lower Landingstrip Creek

4/28 – Whatcom Creek

5/1 – NSEA Nursery

5/30 – Little Squalicum

And some other community events going on this in the near future…

15th Annual Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival
Thursday, February 19
th through Saturday, February 28th, Various Locations throughout B’ham

Opens February 19, presenting quality films on local and global issues,including climate change, farmworkers’ rights, and small scale agriculture.


Workshop: Pruning Fruit Trees

Sunday Feb 22nd, 12-2pm, The Caretaker’s House, 107 Chuckanut Drive. Fairhaven

Demonstrated by Shawn from Cloud Mountain Farm Center. Come learn the basics of fruit tree pruning on fruit trees in our 3 year old orchard in Fairhaven! Rain or shine. Donations are welcomed.
 Located on the north end of the site – The Old Fairhaven Rose Garden. Info: Lynn Loveland 927-1398.

San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit 2015

Friday, February 27th and Saturday, February 28th
Keynote Speakers: food writer Gary Nabhan, and Thor Hanson, award-winning author of The Triumph of Seeds Food-lovers, farmers, regional experts, chefs and local food and farm advocates will gather for two days of education, inspiration, and camaraderie. Questions? Call 370-7664, 370-7666 or email summit@sjcarc.org

And some other interesting tidbits of information …

To Do This Month in the Garden
In late February, you can begin sowing for spring and summer. By trapping the heat of the sun, cloche’, hoop house or cold frame gardening effectively moves the inside growing space about 1.5 hardiness zones further south, allowing you to plant cold-tolerant crops, such as spinach and broccoli, a month or so earlier in the spring. (Or, you can wait to get lovely starts from local producers like Joe’s Garden and the Master Gardeners’ Plant Sale in May.)

* Direct seed hardy annuals such as alyssum, Johnny Jump Ups, Larkspur, Toad Flax, Love in a Mist, Forget-Me-Nots, Shirley Poppies

* Plant cloves, bulbs, sets: garlic, onion, shallots

* Plant peas, fava beans, and radishes

* Under cloche, plant: cilantro, spinach, mustard, oriental greens, and lettuces

* Plant indoors, starts to be planted out in April, May or June:

tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, broccoli, asparagus, leeks, onions, chives, parsley

* Prune Fruit Trees and Berries

* Plant Bareroot Fruit Trees

Fields of Gold: GMO-Free Crops Prove Lucrative for Farmers
From the Wall Street Journal, off all places…
Last spring, for the first time in 20 years, Indiana farmer Jim Benham planted his fields entirely with soybean seeds that hadn’t been genetically modified to withstand herbicides. It wasn’t because the 63-year-old suddenly had embraced the anti-GMO movement. Instead, he was drawn to a nearly 14% per-bushel premium for non-GMO soybeans offered by a local grain terminal, which sells them to Asian feed processors.

Running on Renewable Energy, Burlington, Vermont Powers Green Movement Forward
Burlington, Vermont, the state’s largest city, recently became the first in the country to use 100 percent renewable energy for its residents’ electricity needs. In a state known for socially conscious policies, the feat represents a milestone in the growing green energy movement. NewsHour’s William Brangham reports on the implications for the country’s green movement.

10 Easy DIY Free Greenhouse Plans
A DIY greenhouse can be the perfect solution, both in terms of costs and complexity. We found a nice collection of plans as well as tutorials on how to make your very own DIY greenhouse. Just follow the steps of your preferred design (there are plenty of designs, for any personality and setting) and you will be taking care after your plants in mid-November without any worries.

Sunday Vegetarian Strata
Original recipe makes 12 servings Change Servings
Ingredients:

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1/2 pound ground vegetarian breakfast sausage

– 2 cups chopped onion

– 2 cloves garlic, mince
– 1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper

– 6 cups cubed whole-wheat country bread
– 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
– 1 1/2 cups grated Swiss cheese

– 12 large eggs
– 2 cups 1% milk
– 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
– freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: 

–   Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the vegetarian sausage. Cook and stir until the sausage is crumbly, and evenly browned. Stir in the onion, garlic, and bell pepper; cook and stir until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside.

–   Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange bread in an even layer in the prepared baking dish. Scatter the sausage mixture on top. Brush with the Dijon mustard, and sprinkle with cheese. Whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, and pour over the cheese. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

–   Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Remove strata from the refrigerator, and unwrap.
–   Bake in the preheated oven until puffed, lightly browned, and the center is set, 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving..