Boat School Garden

The 10th Foodbank Garden at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding in Hadlock has been established as of May 2021. A 12×12 SF plot is being dedicated to Foodbank growing and managed by Amber DeLong, who co-managed the Birchyville Garden in Port Townsend before moving to Quilcene.

This garden is part of a larger project to reclaim a former gravel pit from invasive weeds like broom and blackberry. We are delighted to be part of this collaboration!

Below is the vision and the plan for the space, with graphics, written by Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding, Betsy Davis.

 As folks who are helping us create a vision and plan for the “grounds” at the Boat School with an eye towards helping support food production for our students (and other community members) and minimizing the time we spend weed whacking blackberries, I wanted to give you an informal update about what’s been happening on the grounds at the Boat School campus in the last couple weeks.

  1. ENVISIONING THE BIG PICTURE.  Siri has kindly created the attached drawings (see below) that will serve as a catalyst in our planning.   I love the one called “landscaping zones” that show the areas that are in progress.  She mentions that if the landscaping zones need to be changed, that’s easy for her to do at this stage. Such a great planning tool.  (Siri’s partner Antonio is serving as our VetCorps member.)
  1. GROWING FOR THE FOOD BANK (up on Curtis Street)
    1. Amber has volunteered to take on the project of coordinating food production for local food banks in the 12’ x 12’ raised bed in the garden area we have up on Curtis Street.  She has already been volunteering with the Food Bank Farm & Garden group that told us about – they are working on building partnerships and volunteer opportunities to increase local food production for the area’s food banks.  She’s busy helping people with their taxes until May 18th but then we may put up some temporary deer fencing with t-posts until there’s time to get the deer fence constructed.   (I believe Steve and Sue Stanton – Boat School friends and volunteers — return in June.) Also, Amber learned from Kathy that “the biggest need is for winter crops, which we would plant in July.”   (Amber’s husband Chad is a current student in the Marine Systems program.)
    2. Betsy and Amber are providing information to Food Bank Farm & Gardens of Jefferson County to create a shared Memorandum of Understanding.  (I’ll share it once we have it!)  For that purpose I decided to call that set of raised beds the “Boat School Garden”.  [We can always add more creative names in the future…]
    1. Sheryl has started planting in the low raised bed by the tree.  Hooray!!!  (Sheryl is married to our Lead Instructor for the Marine Systems program.)
    2. I filled one of the taller raised beds with raspberries (and a neighbor dropped by 3 additional starts) and I filled another one the taller raised beds with potatoes.
    3. A mystery – it looks like someone started planting things in the low raised bed on the QFC end, which is very fun, but I don’t who it was.  All good – just curious.
  1. WATERING UP TOP …  Many thanks for the rain this week!!!   Big news — Jim Argites (our Facilities Manager) is getting an estimate from Shold and the PUD for bringing water to a spigot up in range of the garden up on Curtis Street.  We’re eagerly waiting for a reply.  It may be something I look for some grant funding to help pay for.
  1. “BOAT SCHOOL ORCHARD”.  On the hill between the Hammond Shop and Community Boat Project there is a small hill with a few nut and fruit trees.  Logan (tree wizard — Heartwood Nursery) and Lydia (goat wizard — Goat Grazing | Ground Control Goats | United States came out this week and scoped out the site and made a plan to pilot a small area of fruit trees where the goats will come in periodically and do the weeding. To get things started they will come out and set up the goats to graze next week.  It will be fun to watch this orchard-goat project as it evolves!
  1. BLACKBERRIES-oh my!   Hats off to Jim and Antonio for making made some great progress on blackberry mitigation on the bank adjacent to the Hammond shop this week.  (Jim says “bring on the goats!” ).  I believe that Lydia’s bringing the goats down soon to graze down blackberries in a couple locations on the campus – the new orchard project, the swale by the first turnoff as you’re driving down the hill, and another area over by the drainage culvert.  (Hmmm… Siri – I may need to work with you to designate these goat-eating areas on our map…)

The Boat School Garden is located in the upper left quadrant of the map.