Jessi Bloom, owner & lead designer at NW Bloom, creates beautiful gardens and landscapes with ecological design and sustainable construction in mind. Elements that are included in her gardens include edible gardening, native plants, wildlife habitat, rainwater absorption and catchment strategies, artful hardscaping, and recycled materials.
An ecologically important attribute in Jessi’s designs is rain gardens. A rain garden is a planted depression in the earth that allows rainwater runoff from impervious areas such as driveways, parking lots, roofs, and other compacted areas found in urban areas to soak into the ground. A raingarden mimics the natural absorption rates of forest, meadow and prairie environments by utilizing native plants that are tolerant of wetland conditions. The result is less pollution reaching nearby bodies of water such as creeks and streams—and a thoroughly watered garden!
Jessi Bloom, Owner/Lead Designer
One of Seattle’s best kept secrets, especially for those of us concerned about the environment, are its architectural salvage companies. These businesses work with contractors, demolition companies and homeowners to save and recycle building material and interior decorative items from buildings that are being torn down. Items can include anything that can be taken from a house including doors, windows, flooring, trim, hardware, cabinets and plumbing fixtures as well as vintage decorative items such as lighting fixtures, stained glass, fireplace surrounds, tile, iron work, granite slabs, garden pieces and often some furniture pieces. You get the high quality seen in vintage materials for a fraction of what you are likely to pay for new materials! How great is that? But wait—there’s more! In addition to being a great resource for vintage materials, architectural salvage companies provide a valuable ‘green’ service for their communities. ReStore’s website notes that “200,000 buildings are demolished each year in the United States. The demolition of a modest 2,000 square foot house generates up to 127 tons of trash.” They go on to note that their store alone diverts close to 4 million pounds of waste per year. So if you’re interested in finding quality vintage materials while helping to save the environment, check out the architectural salvage businesses in our area!
Earthwise Architectural Salvage, Inc., 3447 4th Ave South, Seattle (SoDo)
Second Use Building Materials, Inc., 7953 2nd Ave South, Seattle (South Park)
The ReStore, 1440 NW 52nd St., Seattle (Ballard)
With Seattleites’ love of nature and precedence for healthy lifestyles, the plethora of farmer’s markets throughout the city isn’t surprising. But did you know that the bulk of our neighborhood markets (excluding the Queen Anne market which is independently managed) are run by two separate non-profits, both with very different goals and intents for the markets they run?
The first group, the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance (NFMA) are for the purists at heart who don’t want to see any Shabby Chic tables or Guatemalan handbags mixed in with their fruits and vegetables. The NFMA’s mission is “to support and strengthen Washington’s small farms and farming families” and spaces are dedicated exclusively to Washington State farmers and small food businesses. A quote from their website states “buying direct from local farmers gives us the opportunity to enjoy food that is truly in season, to hone our sense of place and our connection to the landscape we live in.” The NFMA started in the University District in 1993 (it’s the oldest and largest ‘farmers-only’ neighborhood market in Seattle) and is now comprised of the following seven markets: University (Saturday), West Seattle (Sunday), Broadway (Sunday), Columbia City (Wednesday), Lake City (Thursday), Magnolia (Saturday) and Phinney (Friday). The University and West Seattle markets are open year-round; all other markets are seasonal. Check out their website, www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org, for times and locations. Their website, by the way, is excellent, and it includes a ‘Ripe & Ready’ guide listing what is available at their markets each week, a produce calendar listing what’s in season each month, a great recipes section and an events calendar.
The second group, the Seattle Farmers Market Association, is for the adventurous at heart. Their mission is “to create a sustainable marketplace that supports [a] self reliant micro-business culture.” Billing themselves as European-style markets, they are modeled after the “vibrant and diverse European street markets which offer visitors a little bit of everything.” All markets include farm fresh produce, crafts and street food. Fremont and Georgetown also include antiques, collectibles and world imports. This group began with the Fremont market over 20 years ago and now includes the following six markets: Fremont (Sunday), Ballard (Sunday), Wallingford (Wednesday), Madrona (Friday), Georgetown (Saturday) and their newest addition, Interbay (Thursday). The Fremont and Ballard markets are open year-round; all other markets are seasonal. Check out their website, seattlefarmersmarketassociation.wordpress.com, for times and locations.