Serving the Mercer Island community since 1947
Thrift shop design still in process
Weed and feed
Sports Calendar INSIDE THIS ISSUE SPORTS PREVIEWS – PAGE 12
Chamber Lunch is Thursday, Sept. 5
Neighbors walk and talk with planners about expansion plans
The Mercer Island Chamber of Commerce Membership luncheon is Thursday, Sept. 4 . Doors open at 11:30 and lunch is at noon. The speaker is a local Emmywinning television producer who will speak on the role of creativity in business. Reservations are requested and can be made via the chamber website or by calling 232-3404.
First backyard wildlife sanctuary tour Sunday, Sept. 8 The first annual Wildlife Habitat Garden Tour will be held on Mercer Island on Sunday, Sept. 8. To learn more contact Rita or Susan at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.facebook.com/ MercerIslandIsHabitat for more.
MISD ‘listening session’ and board meeting Sept. 12 The Mercer Island School District Board of Directors will hold another listening session about its plans to rebuild and expand Island Schools along with its regular board meeting. Islanders are invited to view plans and give input to board members and staff between 5:30 and 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 12 at the old North Mercer gym, by Youth Theatre Northwest. The regular Board Meeting will begin at 7 p.m. also at the gym.
By Mary L. Grady
Jessica Klein/Contributed Photo
Summer camp kids plant seeds in the Kesher community garden at the Stroum Jewish Community Center. During the school year, children from the Early Childhood School also spend time in the garden.
JCC Kesher garden yields community By Rebecca Mar
Tomatoes and beans aren’t the only plants thriving in the Kesher garden at the Stroum Jewish Community Center. The garden’s patches and farm plot are brimming with much more — edible flowers, berries, and an abundance of veggies. Apple trees, pears, plums, apricots and peaches fill the orchard near the front gate. An apiary for honeybees occupies one corner of the garden. The name, “Kesher,” means “connection” in Hebrew. Island resident Lisa Porad spearheaded the garden two years ago. Now, a 10-member committee oversees the garden. “We’ve accomplished a lot in the space,” Jessica Klein, the gar-
den manager, said. “We’re really proud of what we’ve done here.” A pea patch costs an annual fee of $65 plus a one-time $25 application fee. Each plot is 10-by-10 feet. Gardeners must abide by a list of guidelines to keep the garden sustainable and organic. The garden has eight raised beds in the inner circle for teaching. “The mission of the garden is connecting people to each other and to the earth,” Klein said. Stopsky’s Delicatessen has a plot for growing tomatoes, kale, beans, cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, lettuce, chard, squash, herbs and harvest peas. Sip Restaurant, located in Issaquah, also has a plot. Klein tends to the restaurants’ patches and delivers their produce.
Bennett’s Bistro provided a grant for the farm plot, where produce is being grown for them. Klein, an Issaquah resident, specializes in organic and heirloom landscapes. Her experience as a King County Master Gardener is what led her to the Kesher garden, and she manages her own gardening business, Pea Patch Gardens. “I manage gardens for people all over Seattle and the Eastside, Mercer Island, south to Tacoma, Sammamish and Issaquah,” she said, at any given time helping with 15 to 30 gardens. Klein’s own garden at home includes eight large plots and a greenhouse. “I love teaching people — people who would never garden for food,” she said. “It’s so fascinating to experience this fresh from eyes that have never tried to garden before.” Klein was a JCC girl, growing up on Mercer Island. She participated in the JCC summer
At a second listening session for the plans to remodel and expand the Mercer Island Thrift store, Islanders were invited to take a walking tour with city planners and the project architect and have their say. As it is with any changes to an Island institution, especially one placed on park land in a residential neighborhood, many are concerned. The shop, in a building that formerly housed a swimming pool, at the southeast corner of Mercerdale Park is owned and operated by the city. About a dozen came to talk to city staff about what they feel are areas that should be given special
Thrift | Page 2
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