urban agriculture

Park(ing) Day and Urban Agriculture

  schemata workshop and amaranth farms

Schemata Workshop has participated in National Park(ing) Day for the past three years. We continue to participate in this national event because it is a fun and creative way to engage our community about public space and the entitlements we currently give cars.  For one day we demonstrate what our city could look like if we transformed even a small number of our parking spots into public space.  We chose our theme this year because we believe Urban Agriculture has a place in our city and we are in the process of designing a Cohousing Project for our current office location that will include a Rooftop Farm. (http://www.schemataworkshop.com/work/on-the-boards/urban-cohousing/)

Urban Agriculture provides resilience to our food system by diversifying where our food comes from.  Local economies will grow and expand when urban farmers begin to succeed in the city.  City farms improve our environment with increased biodiversity and often utilize innovative farming techniques that use less water and fertilizers. Urban Agriculture and Farms fosters community by providing space to host farm dinners, inspire community kitchens, and teach young and old about their food.

This year, as in past years, our Park(ing) spot received enthusiastic community support.  We had folks stop by who were out on a ‘tour’ of all the parking spots in the city, but we had many others who were just walking by and decided to sit and stay for a conversation about anything from the weather, to the state of the economy. The local preschool came by for milk and cookies and decorated the sidewalk with imaginative art. We also had five chickens (owned by a Schemata staffer), that were a hit, not only with the kids but with adults who wanted to know more about getting their own urban chickens. Overall, it was an exciting day and we all got to know our neighbors a little better while having some inspiring conversations about the future of our city.




Thank you again to Scratch Deli, Ragen & Associates, and Amaranth Farms for partnering to make this a fun and engaging event! Also a shout out to Sugar Bakery for bringing cookies, music, and the party with your mobile Park(ing) Day Party and Portage Bay Grange for leasing us straw bales.

Our awesome Partners, check them out!

www.ragenassociates.com www.amaranthurbanfarm.com www.yelp.com/biz/scratch-deli-seattle www.sugarbakerycafe.com http://portagebaygrange.vpweb.com/Home.html



Chicken laid an egg just for Park(ing) Day.

urban agriculture Park(ing) Day

Friends and neighbors stopped by for great conversation.

sugar bakery Park(ing) Day urban agriculture schemata workshop

Sugar Bakery stopped by with tricked out bikes that brought music and cookies! Fun.

Local preschoolers hope the chickens will lay another egg.


urban agriculture

Permaculture in Seattle

[caption id="attachment_268" align="alignleft" width="700" caption="Permaculture Gardens at Daybreak Cohousing"][/caption] While designing Daybreak Cohousing in Portland, we were first introduced to the term "permaculture."  At the time, I imagined it was a radical and complicated way to plant and grow food.  However, in the past 4 years, I've come to learn that a lot of what I believe in relative to urban gardening/farming is actually imbedded in the principles of permaculture.  How did I find this out?  After numerous people I'd be talking to would say "hey, what you are describing sounds like permaculture."  So after the last person who said this to me, Jason Niebler - Program Director for Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAgE) Program at Seattle Central Community College, I bought the book Gaia's Garden...and so starts my journey.

The journey includes creating an urban farm on the rooftop of our future cohousing development on Capitol Hill.  Based on early conversations with Jason, it sounds like we can grow food for the 10 families who will reside in the community as well as enough to sell to local restaurants and possibly to neighbors at the Farmer's Market.  That is still a few years off, so till then, we will dream and plan.  And when we move in, our 3000sf rooftop farm will be open to the public - for tours and general information.  No more food deserts - we want to grow hyper local food that is nutritious, organic, and sustainable.

Until that time, you can learn more about permaculture at the 2010 Northwest Permaculture Convergence.  Since the meeting is taking place in an urban setting this year, the focus of the Convergence is on Urban Permaculture and the Invisible Structures that weave our lives together as part of the city commons.

Mark Lakeman of Portland's City Repair is the keynote speaker - and he's quite an inspiring!  After hearing from him, you will want to create your own community tea house adorned with butterfly wings and paint a magnificent mandala in your neighborhood intersection.

The event takes place this weekend - September 17-19 at South Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA.  More info can be found at  http://www.washingtonstatepermaculture.org/wordpress/?page_id=7

Hello brave new world!

We finally made it!  Schemata Workshop is now officially in the blogosphere. Please check back to read our musings about architecture, cohousing, sustainability, capitol hill seattle, urban design, urban agriculture, affordable housing, transit, and design in general.

Grace, Mike, John, Peggy & Kristin