Labateyah House Gardening – Feb. 22

Saturday Feb. 22, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Labateyah House, 9010 13th Ave NW
We’ll be starting a garden that will produce a thousand pounds of fresh produce each year (in time, maybe five tons). Better, it will teach young people to grow, cook, and enjoy real, good food. Even the farmer’s market can’t beat that for nutrition, sustainability, and satisfaction.
Welcome to the Labateyah gardening crew. Whether you come for just our February 22 work party to start the garden, or come over and over, we’re happy to have you along.
Labateyah House is a project of United Indians of All Tribes. It provides a safe and nurturing environment for homeless youth, combining Native American wisdom and ceremony with modern educational, medical and social services. The three-story, 25-bed home offers transitional and state group housing to youth between the ages of 18 and 23. Youth can stay for up to 18 months and are provided with access to medical and educational services, case management, life skills training and career counseling in preparation to living and working on their own.
The Garden – Labateyah has a front lawn which totals close to 4000 sq.ft. Last fall, we covered a quarter of this area with cardboard and compost. This dark layer has killed the lawn. The cardboard may be rotten enough to till into the soil, as well. If not, we’ll have to remove it. In either case, we’ll rototill the compost and dead lawn plants into the top layer of soil. That will give us three inches of great garden soil.
That’s not nearly enough. We want at least twice as much. The biggest rototillers won’t go that deep, so we’ll have some shovel work to do.
February is very early to start planting. Only the most cold-tolerant seeds can take it, so we’ll start with peas and some hardy greens. To give them a boost, we’ll build cloches to warm them by day and hold warmth at night. Our cloches will be made with recycled wooden frames and plastic sheeting from mattress store dumpsters. In March, we’ll have vegetable starts grown by students at Ballard High.
The Community – There’s more work than we can do in one day, and there’s more garden spots waiting for us. Part of the goal is to bring people together. Some of the youth and staff at Labateyah will help out on the 22nd, and everyone will learn new skills and methods for growing great food in our communities.
What to Bring – First, bring friends!  Of course.
Second, dress for dirt and for the weather.
Third, bring work gloves. We have some, but yours fit you. If you have shovels and wheelbarrows handy, they’re good too. Other tools might be handy as well.
Fourth, we’ll have good food, but I always enjoy it when people bring a dish of their own.
Finally, bring a friend.  Another one.
Questions?  Email Fred Miller or call 206-453-4471.