About The P-Patch
The Hazel Heights P-Patch Bee committee had a powwow Saturday morning, complete with smoke signals. The attached photos, if kept in numerical order show what we did. We were there to check the hive to see if it was full and ready for another box of frames. It was - full to overflowing. These pictures show our visit on Saturday. On Sunday Paul and I met again to install a Super which is a half-height box of frames. The reason for the half height Super is that it will be carried home at the end of summer and 40 pound of honey is easier to carry than 80 pounds. The main box weighs 80 pounds now, but doesn't need to be carried anywhere. If the production of honey stays high, we might put a second Super later in the summer. Paul and I made the Super up from frames pulled from two hives that suffered colony collapse just last week. The nifty close-up pictures are from a frame that was not good for reuse, but had some honey in them.
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Hazel and Don Hurlbert lived for nearly 50 years at 4204 Baker Avenue NW on the west side of Seattle's Fremont neighborhood. Don worked at Seattle's Washington Park Arboretum and was a proficient beekeeper. The Hurlberts gardened on the extra lot between their house and NW 42nd Street. The p-patch is named in honor of Hazel Hurlbert.
When Hazel Hurlbert died in 2003, her nephew, Tom Hurlbert, generously held the house and extra lot off the market long enough for the neighborhood to organize its purchase, and to secure the vacant lot for future use as a community garden.
A new steering committee, ably led by David Clarridge, obtained a $100,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund grant, and we were off on the dollar chase. Due to the steep slope this is the only Seattle p-patch to date to require a SEPA review and master use permit, so the cost of construction is higher than a typical community garden. Midway through the project, Dave was taken from us by cancer. A memorial will be established at the garden.
To promote environmental sustainability, Hazel Heights P-Patch will have an 8,000 gallon cistern under the central plaza, fed by rainwater catchment from two neighbors' roofs. The rainwater system and improved alley will reduce stormwater runoff.
Contributing to Seattle's food security is a major aim of the project. One of the nineteen garden plots, plus on-site fruit trees, will be maintained by volunteers to provide fresh produce for local food banks.