Pictures of Sam

A dearly loved Belgian draft horse passed away last night.   Betsey’s 27 year old mare Samantha was fine on Friday, we got home from the farmers’ market on Saturday and she was clearly ill, and by 9pm she had died.  Betsey was able to be there to help her through her final moments and I was honored to be there to assist.

It was  a good long and rich horse life.  Betsey tells many stories about her experiences learning to drive with Samantha and taking Sam camping on wagon trains throughout the state of Washington.  Betsey wrote a blog post the day after Sam’s death that recounts some of these stories.

Countless people, including all of us interns and elementary school kids from around the corner, got to try their hand at driving Sam – she was smart but tolerant and good with newbies.  Sam will always be the horse that taught be to drive and I’m happy to have known her if only briefly.   Here are some pictures!  We’ll miss you, Sam.


Betsey and Samantha - both amazing teachers in their own ways. In their 20 years together, Bets and Sam have given many people a chance to learn about draft horses and how they can be used for farm work.

Betsey talking with Erin about how to operate the discing machinery. Erin and I got to be a part of Sam's last field work, one week before she died.

Me cultivating beetween the rows of crops with Sam.

Samantha enjoying her pasture in the sun.



A visit to StartNow Gardens.

Bremerton, WA.

The house next door:

Bremerton: The house next door to Jean and Glenn's.

Jean and Glenn’s house:

Betsey, Renee, and Erin observe the front yard with Jean. Zucchini, peppers, eggplant, lettuce.

Betsey took us on an awesome field trip a couple weeks ago, to visit StartNow Gardens in Bremerton.  This is an urban farm built since 2003 by an amazing couple named Jean and Glenn.  They have taken two city lots (they own two houses next door to each other, live in one and rent out the other) and transformed the space from boring yard into blooming farm.  A composting system, fruit trees, berry bushes, raised beds, tomatoes in pots, an abundance of beautiful vegetables.  Solar panels.  A walk-in cooler powered by a window air conditioning unit.  Three levels of rooftop garden connected by wooden catwalks.  Everything meticulously maintained and every inch of space seemingly used.

Glenn by the greenhouses, salad bed, and herb bed in the front yard

The pictures speak for themselves.  Farming is possible in the city.  Imagine how much food could come out of Seattle if every neighborhood had a farm like this.  Alternatively, imagine if every family had a single raised bed in their yard that made up a distributed, shared farm.

Fruit trees, strawberries, and solar panels on the multi-level rooftop garden

Jean and Glenn sell their produce, and soups they make from their produce, through a tiny, new, grocery store in Bremerton called FreshLocal.  They have a secure market for their food as long as the store can stay in business.   What do the Seattle city regulations have to say about growing food for sale on a residential lawn?  What if you could feed yourself and make money from your little front yard garden?

Parking strip full of kale

I was definitely inspired by the visit and by seeing Jean and Glenn’s commitment to making a difference in their own corner of the world.   Makes me want to go out and follow suit.  Starting Now.

More pictures here:

"This is super cool!" Me and Betsey with Glenn and Jean on the roof