Daily Archives: September 18, 2008

A tour of the island’s edible landscapes

There are no neat rows in Chuck Estin’s vegetable garden, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a complex system at work.

“It’s a big gimish, I know,” Estin said, pointing to the sprawling mass of green near his front door. Resembling a forest floor more than a vegetable garden, the dozen plants in the 30-square-foot plot were chosen for their ability to cooperate while producing food.

A Japanese fuki plant produces edible stems and broad leaves that fall, decay and enrich the soil for quince and pawpaw, a Kentucky transplant with a custard-like fruit. Strong-smelling mint repels unwanted insects and ground cover of alpine strawberries holds weeds at bay. Yellow calendula flowers dotting the plot attract pollinating bees that help the mini-ecosystem thrive.

The rest of Estin’s Lynwood Center yard, which amounts to about a fifth of an acre, is layered with 108 different kinds of food and flower-producers.

“We get pretty much all the vegetables and fruit we eat from right here,” he said.

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Change in government petitioners gather 1,200 signatures

Petitioners pushing for vote on replacing the city’s elected mayor with a hired manager say they have enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot.

Signature gatherer Dennis Vogt filed over 1,200 signatures with the city clerk this week.
Petitioners need almost 1,000 signatures representing 10 percent of the island’s voters for ballot consideration.

Initially targeting the November ballot, petitioners now prefer a February or November 2009 vote.

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Watch out for trinket-selling hippies on Bainbridge beaches

Steeply rising gas prices and a souring economy have grounded many jet-set vacations. But that doesn’t mean Puget Sounders can’t find adventure nearby.

Try a “staycation,” advises the The Naked Loon, Puget Sound’s “Most Spectacular (satirical) Newspaper.”

But staycationers be warned: while Bainbridge may seem like a good place for a little R&R, the island has many unsavory characters roaming the beaches.

According to the Loon:

Hippies selling trinkets on the beach will say or do just about anything to get you to buy their wares. Officer Mike Gerard says that you should be skeptical of their claims—but feel free to ask them for a little dance if you want. Trinket dealers often tell tourists that their knick-knacks are made of high-quality plastic and then quote prices starting at around $5. But Gerard points out that the do-dads are almost always made from nothing more than discarded seashells gathered at low tide. “Tourists from the ‘mainland’ are always looking for a bargain,” Gerard says.

And I thought the last of the Bainbridge hippies were swept off the island in the late 80’s when Bellevue settlers began crossing the Sound for greener pastures. It’s good to see pockets of resistance remain, and that they’re continuing their age-old do-dad selling traditions.