2012 Pea Patches

What is a P-Patch? A p-patch (or pea patch) rents garden plots to members of the general public. You pay a fee for the year and then plant your veggies, flowers, herbs, whatever you like to grow. If you live in an apartment or other space with limited or no garden space, a community garden plot provides a generous space to have your very own garden. Blueberry Park P-Patch Garden Plots, Bremerton The City of Bremerton provides 32 publicly available spaces at Blueberry Park. This Pea Patch is administered by the Master Gardener program and a crew of dedicated and hard-working master gardeners. There are still a few plots available here for 2011. Water is provided by the city. This is an excellent flat and sunny space. Gardeners grow peas on trellises, potatoes in tires, and many kinds of vegetables. The Master Gardener demonstration garden includes accessible gardening beds, winter … Continue reading


As summer slides into fall I’ve been making changes in the garden. I finally harvested the two cabbages I grew all year in one of the 4×4 raised beds. I picked up these January King cabbages as starts from Friendly Natives at the Bainbridge Farmers Market this time last year and nursed them through the winter under a plastic cloche. A year later two of those plants had taken over the entire bed! I see why Jean Schanen doesn’t grow them on the Start Now urban farm – those plants take up a lot of space. It took a small sickle to get them off the stalk. The little head came in at two pounds, the bigger one at six – not close to the year’s prize-winner, but I still should have entered the big one at the Kitsap County Fair. One quarter of the little head fed the family … Continue reading

Master Gardener demonstration garden

In Kitsap County, Master Gardener interns put in time at farmers market clinics, special projects (I’m helping staff the fair booths) and in a local garden. I picked the Blueberry Park garden for its emphasis on food production. The organizers there assigned me a demonstration garden plot. I chose to spotlight seed saving, and to hedge my bets, also divided the bed into a crop rotation pattern of beans, greens, roots and fruits, with herbs and flowers in the center. For “demonstration” read “learning”. I’m proud to have a red orach plant in this garden – it was the first start I bought at a Kitsap farmer’s market and I’ve been growing it and saving the seed ever since. On the other hand I’ve never grown scarlet runner beans before – good thing they’re easy! Seed saving takes a bit of thought. You have to choose a heritage or open-pollinated … Continue reading

Farm Walk

Last Monday I went to the second WSU Small Farm Teams Hot Summer Nights farmwalk. Shannon Harkness and Red Barn Farm hosted the evening. A group of 4H kids, Kitsap farming’s next generation, showed off the new chicks and the guard llamas, which Shannon says keep the coyotes off the chickens! The Kitsap County Agricultural Association monthly meeting fell on the same night, so the association turned up at the farm walk as a field trip. Since it was a KCAA meeting we started with a potluck under the trees (I brought my chorizo stew). Farmers potlucks are the best. Nikki brought a roast chicken! Red Barn is where Andrea Wigglesworth is sharecropping her Wyckels Farm operation this year. After the potluck we got to tour Andrea’s acre of vegetables. It was a fantastic opportunity to see in action the process she described at the West Sound Farm Expo last … Continue reading