Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Grow Community Workshop - January 20th

Bainbridge considering ban on plastic bags - Kitsap Sun

By Tristan Baurick
Posted December 22, 2011 at 4:24 p.m.

— Bainbridge may soon follow Seattle's lead by banning plastic bags.

Bainbridge Mayor Kirsten Hytopoulos is crafting a proposed bag prohibition patterned after the one the Seattle City Council unanimously approved on Monday. She will formally propose the measure early next month.

If approved, Bainbridge would become the fifth city in Washington to ban thin-film plastic bags, after Seattle, Bellingham, Edmonds and Mukilteo.

"This is a little thing we can do that will have a huge impact," Hytopoulos said.
Hytopoulos said the plastic bags commonly used at grocery stores are wasteful and harmful to the environment.

About 12 percent of the plastic bags used last year went to a recycling center, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The rest ended up in landfills, waterways and elsewhere...

Friday, December 23, 2011

In Kitsap County and statewide, recycling rates nearing 50 percent - Kitsap Sun

By Christopher Dunagan
Posted December 22, 2011 at 6:16 p.m.

— Kitsap County and Washington state are edging toward a state recycling goal established more than 20 years ago — a goal that some people thought could never be reached.

Kitsap County's overall recycling rate for 2010 reached 45 percent, up 5 percent from the year before. Washington state reached a recycling rate of 49 percent. The national average stands at 34 percent.

Much of the state's increase in recycling was attributed to the recycling of organic waste, including wood, yard debris and food scraps. Municipal areas continue to push organic recycling, and some programs now compost all types of food waste...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New lease on life for old farmhouse on Bainbridge - Kitsap Sun

By Tristan Baurick
Posted October 7, 2011 at 5:43 p.m.

Craden Henderson and Clay Johnson, of PHC Construction, remove one of the windows from the Morales Farm house on Bainbridge Island on Friday. Once it is habitable again, it could be used to house interns who work on the island's 15 small farms. (MEEGAN M. REID/KITSAP SUN)

— Over the eight years since the city bought the five-acre Morales Farm, the rolling fields have slowly come alive with pumpkins, grapes, tomatoes and sunflowers.

Ani Kendig, office manager of PHC Construction, removes molding from the front door during renovation of the Morales Farm house on Bainbridge Island on Friday. PHC and its subcontractors are not charging for the work, although a nonprofit is chipping in the cover some material and permitting costs.

The old farmhouse, though, has remained as empty and lifeless as the day the Morales family left it.
That could change in the coming months as an ambitious plan gets under way to fully restore the Lovgreen Road home and turn it into living quarters for the island's popular farm internship programs.

Bainbridge farming advocacy group Friends of the Farms has teamed with PHC Construction to tear the three-bedroom, 58-year-old house down to the studs and restore it with new walls, windows, flooring and various interior touches that will make the house a home again. The house will also get revamped electrical, plumbing and water systems, and energy-efficient upgrades, including a heat pump and foam insulation.

Marty Sievertson of PHC Construction removes the drywall in the living room of the Morales Farm house on Bainbridge Island on Friday.
Bainbridge-based PHC and its subcontractors are doing the $100,000 project free-of-charge. Friends of the Farms chipped in about $10,000 for building permits and other costs.

Island farmer Brian MacWhorter walked through the house's dilapidated interior as a work crew began breaking into the walls on Friday morning.

"Look at this — it's really an extreme makeover," he said.

Ani Kendig, office manager of PHC Construction, removes molding from around windows Friday.

The 15 or so island farms offer a total of 12 internships, but MacWhorter it's often a struggle to find enough room for the young farmers-in-training to stay. The internship programs doesn't pay much, making it difficult for the college-age interns to cover the relatively high-priced rent at island apartments and shared homes.

"Housing is one of the most important things that keeps the internships going," said MacWhorter, who employs four interns. "Whatever we can do that helps (housing) will keep farming sustainable on Bainbridge Island."

While the Friends of the Farms received city approval to do the restoration work, coming to a lease agreement that allows interns to live at the house is a matter for later negotiations.

If all goes well, three or more interns could move in by March, said Friends of the Farms Executive Director Wendy Tyner.

The house could also be used for farm-related classes or as an interpretive center, she added.

The house was once the home of Teddy Morales, who moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1929 and farmed on Bainbridge for decades. He and his family grew berries and various vegetables, but the property was best known for producing a bounty of sweet corn.

Craden Henderson and Clay Johnson of PHC Construction remove a window at the Morales Farm house on Bainbridge Island on Friday.
The city bought the Morales Farm in 2003 for $210,000 with the idea of preserving it as farmland. The farm and several other properties were purchased with an $8 million open space bond approved by voters in 2001.

The property is now used by MacWhorter, who grows tomatoes and other warm-weather crops in greenhouses, a wine maker and a part-time farmer who produces a variety of vegetables. Two island schools have plots for use in educational programs.

Renovation of the house at the Morales Farm on Bainbridge Island started Friday.
The city re-roofed the house a few years ago, but nothing has been done to make it habitable.
"It's actually a pretty sound structure," PHC co-owner Marty Sievertson said. "It's got a nice dry roof, and I haven't found any rot."

The exterior's cedar shingles are also in good shape and will likely remain.

"This is the kind of project I've been looking to do for a while," Sievertson said. "I've been building in Kitsap County and Bainbridge for 30 years. It's been good to me. It's time for me to give back."

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Brand NEW Website!

We are excited to announce the launch of our brand new website.  We invite you to check it out at:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Dwelling Renderings

Thank you to all those who made it out to our Open House last night.  If you couldn't make it you can see our new home renderings below or on our brand new website:!

the Everett - 3 bedroom dwelling

the Aria - 2 bedroom dwelling

the Ocean - 2 master bedroom dwelling

the Tallis - townhouse

the Sky - lofts

the Landon - flats

Monday, September 26, 2011

Open House TOMORROW!

Don't miss the Grow Community Open House TOMORROW! All are invited. Come and learn about our very unique, super sustainable community coming to Bainbridge Island. Food and wine will be provided.
Bainbridge Performing Arts 7-9pm

Friday, September 16, 2011

Business spotlight: A home (office) away from home opens on Bainbridge - Kitsap Sun

Photo by Larry Steagall
Working out of your home office can be both convenient and efficient, but when you need a quiet space to yourself, a conference room, or just want to get out and meet other people, OfficeExpats is an extension of your home office.  Without the commute.  OfficeExpats is the the Island's newest business, opening in the Pavilion, just next door to Grow Community.  

Click here to read the article in the Kitsap Sun and learn more. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

7 Ways to Cook Up a Sustainable Diet - Yes! Magazine

This is a fantastic article from Yes! Magazine about eating local.  And it's not just about why you should eat local, it tackles the HOW!  How do we make the things that grow very close to home into meals for our families.  Vicki Robin took the plunge and tells of her experience.


Last year, Vicki Robin lived for a month eating only food from within a 10-mile radius. She’s back with tips for a planet-friendly diet.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Monday, September 12, 2011


Don’t miss our community gathering on Tuesday 27th at Bainbridge Performing Arts 7-9pm, where we will be unveiling models and sharing our home designs for the Grow Community. Join us for some tasty treats and local wines.  All are invited. We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Grow Community Open House!


We would like to hear what you think of our Grow Community home designs, and take your ideas in to consideration for our next round of revisions. Click here to view our renderings and floorplans and submit your feedback.  Thanks!


You will also have an opportunity to provide feedback at our community gathering on September 27th at Bainbridge Performing Arts.  We will be unveiling models and sharing our designs. Join us for some tasty treats and local wines.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

4 Misconceptions About the Simple Life...

Oh boy!  There are many stereotypes that turn people off the idea of living green.  This essay by Duane Elgin tackles four of the major myths, showing us how a simplified life can create thriving, productive communities!


The Huffington Post


It is important to recognize inaccurate stereotypes about the simple life because they make it seem impractical and ill suited for responding to increasingly critical breakdowns in world systems. Four misconceptions about the simple life are so common they deserve special attention. These are equating simplicity with: poverty, moving back to the land, living without beauty and economic stagnation...

Simplicity Means Poverty
Simplicity Means Rural Living
Simplicity Means Living Without Beauty
Simplicity Means Economic Stagnation   

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Here’s a fantastic article on innovative urban farming out of necessity.  It shows that food production certainly can take place close to home, with a little creativity!  With community garden spaces at the Grow Community we'll seek to nurture this kind of connection with our food supply within a communal, semi-urban setting!  It can be done!

Urban Farming Movement Sweeps Across Havana, Cuba Providing 50% of Fresh Food

by Helen Morgan, 08/18/11
Urban agriculture is a refreshing sign of people localizing food production by bringing it into the city. But in Havana, Cuba, the farming movement has evolved as an amazing response to the loss of food imports and agricultural inputs towards the end of last century. Following dramatic political changes, and the ensuing economic, ecological and social crisis, agrarian production was seen as key to food security. This movement towards urban cultivation systems continues to sweep across the city, and according to recent reports, now over 50 per cent of the city’s fresh produce is grown with its boundaries.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Homes Powered by Renewable Energy!

Homes at Grow Community are designed for maximum energy efficiency, needing only 4000-6000 kWh of electricity per year.  Solar panels in community systems will allow residents to live in homes powered by renewable energy.  As with all aspects of sustainability at the Grow Community, we do the homework for you, so you can live comfortably, knowing that your footprint on the planet is just a bit lighter.

Check out this Solar graphic from Jetsongreen to determine how much solar you need.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Grow Community Bike for Pie!

WOW!  What a terrific time we had biking for pie today! We had 5 little ones and 8 big ones riding with us.  Thanks for joining us. Lets do it again next year!

To show our support of pedal power, the Grow Community put together a team for the annual Bike for Pie family ride on Bainbridge Island. Riding a bike reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, while promoting a healthy lifestyle. That’s what the Grow Community is all about.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bicycles, Pie and Fresh Bread!

This Sunday is the annual Bike 4 Pie event on Bainbridge Island. Who doesn't love bicycles and pie!

To show our support of pedal power, the Grow Community has put together a team for the family ride! Riding a bike reduces the consumption of fossil fuels, while promoting a healthy lifestyle. That’s what the Grow Community is all about.

Also check out this great New York Times Opinion piece on the Dutch and their commitment to the bike.  Although it seems they prefer to bike for bread. Each to his own.

The Dutch Way: Bicycles and Fresh Bread

As an American who has been living here for several years, I am struck, every time I go home, by the way American cities remain manacled to the car. While Europe is dealing with congestion and greenhouse gas buildup by turning urban centers into pedestrian zones and finding innovative ways to combine driving with public transportation, many American cities are carving out more parking spaces. It’s all the more bewildering because America’s collapsing infrastructure would seem to cry out for new solutions. 

Geography partly explains the difference: America is spread out, while European cities predate the car. But Boston and Philadelphia have old centers too, while the peripheral sprawl in London and Barcelona mirrors that of American cities. 

More important, I think, is mind-set. Take bicycles. The advent of bike lanes in some American cities may seem like a big step, but merely marking a strip of the road for recreational cycling spectacularly misses the point. In Amsterdam, nearly everyone cycles, and cars, bikes and trams coexist in a complex flow, with dedicated bicycle lanes, traffic lights and parking garages. But this is thanks to a different way of thinking about transportation...


Monday, August 8, 2011

Smart Transit By Choice - YES Magazine

Sustainable Transport is one of the 10 One Planet Principles required for a One Planet Community.  The Grow Community's vision is to achieve this principle by encouraging low carbon modes of transport to reduce emissions and reducing the need to travel.  Here is a an article on how Seattle hopes to become the world's first climate-neutral city:


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Health and Happiness is one of the 10 One Planet Principles required for a One Planet Community. The Grow Community's vision is to achieve this principle by encouraging active, sociable, meaningful lives to promote good health and well being.  Here is a wonderful article on intentionally designing and developing with our children in mind:

To Save Our Cities, Put Children First

What’s the universal design principle that can make our cities great? Kid-friendliness, says architect Jason McLennan.


posted Jul 13, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July Grow Community Newsletter

Click here to view our July Newsletter.

Zero Waste Efforts in Our Community

Zero Waste is one of the 10 One Planet Principles required for a One Planet Community.  The Grow Community will aim to achieve this principle through reduction, reuse, recycling and composting, ultimately sending zero waste to landfill.

Click here to learn about Sustainable Bainbridge’s Zero Waste Initiative.  It’s already happening right in our backyard!

Click here to read about how Sustainable Seattle is making this year’s Beer and Film Festival a Zero Waste Event!

Friday, July 15, 2011

CHICKEN CRAZY? 3rd Annual Bainbridge Island Tour de Coop

Some are saying that chickens are the new golden retriever and its certainly true here on Bainbridge Islander. Every spring the local Island feed store, 'Bay Hay and Feed' sell 1550 to 1800 baby chicks and at least 5000 50lb bags of chicken  food. They estimate 1/3 of Island households keep chickens. WOW! 

Don't miss the  Third Annual Bainbridge Island Tour de Coop 2011 Tomorrow: A Self-Guided Tour of  Chicken Coops, Saturday, July 16 from 11-4.  This year there will  be 9 chicken coops on the tour. Tickets are available at Bay Hay and Feed, and Classic Cycle on Bainbridge Island. Check out this great article in the local newspaper to learn more: 


Tour de Coop this weekend

North Kitsap Herald Kitsap Week

Chicken coops are hatching all over Bainbridge Island.

Some are lavish and include artwork and electricity.

Others are quaint and provide comfortable living quarters.

At this weekend’s third annual Tour de Coop,  visitors will get the chance to check out nine coops on a self-guided tour around the island.

It’s the chicken version of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” minus the gilded furniture and luxurious yachts. Instead, you’ll see ventilated egg boxes and high perches for sleeping. Eating quarters consist of water troughs and food dispensers. Chicken bathtubs are made up of a mixture of dirt and sand — perfect for dust bathing.  And one coop even has classical music piped in — the owners read that classical music helps keep the chickens calm... 


Thursday, July 7, 2011

From the Urban Gardens Blog...

An excerpt from Urban Gardens:

Modern Living house’s architect and the founder of pieceHomes, Jonathan Davis, has plans for Bainbridge Island, Washington. Davis is collaborating with sustainable development and investment company, Asani, in the development of Grow Community, a sustainable neighborhood, incorporating the One Planet Living principles of new urbanism, focusing on energy efficiency , but more importantly, on the creation of an interactive community–a modern eco-friendly commune of sorts. “You can’t just look at the now,” explained Davis, “you’ve got to look at how the community is going to live for years to come.”

click here to read the article

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

JUST ADD WATER (and architect): Deep green community to grow outside of Seattle

Mother Nature Network
by Matt Hickman
Eco-living expert blogs about the best ways to go green at home

The architect responsible for the Modern Living Showhouse at Dwell on Design 2011, is a force behind Grow Community, an eco-enclave with shared composting facilities and kayak storage on Bainbridge Island, Wash.  

In my post last week about the glammed up, greened out Modern Living Showhouse on display at Dwell on Design 2011, I talked a lot about the eye-catching interiors procured by Zem Joaquin and the team at ecofabulous. Honestly, I could write an entire month of posts just about all of the green goodies I saw jammed into the 520-square foot, currently up-for-auction-on-eBay prefab abode. 

While so focused on the great work of Zem and co. I didn’t have much time to explore the architect behind the Modern Living Showhouse: Jonathan Davis of pieceHomes, the modular-centric offshoot of L.A.-based green architecture firm, Davis Studio Architecture + Design. While Davis and pieceHomes are new to me, it didn’t take me long to appreciate his past work — get a load of the Bell Mountain Ranch — and an in-development project that really caught my attention: Grow Community, a zero-carbon neighborhood of 137 solar-powered residences (50 homes and 87 apartments) to be built on Bainbridge Island, Wash. The ambitious project is a joint venture between pieceHomes and eco-developers, Asani.

Seattle’s King5 News calls Grow Community “one of the world’s greenest communities” which is a touch hyperbolic even for this sleepy Seattle commuter island that’s home to two MNN favorites: sustainable design firm Grain and eco-architect Matthew Coates. One thing’s for sure, if all goes as planned this 8-acre "pedestrian-oriented, energy-efficient, multigenerational neighborhood" will be the largest new development in Bainbridge’s recent history. Grow Community will also be one of the only communities in the nation (certainly the first in Washington) to achieve a stamp of approval from One Planet Living's Communities program. This rigorous, 10-tier certification program developed by environmental nonprofit BioRegional Development Group and WWF International focuses on the greenness of neighborhoods instead of individual homes. The project will also seek LEED Gold certification.

Consisting of 5 different single-family home designs — ranging from 1,200 to 1,600–square feet — and apartments — ranging from 450 to 1,200-square feet — designed by Davis and the pieceHomes team, Grow Community will generate all of its own power through solar panels placed atop the residences along with additional panels installed elsewhere on the island. There will also be ample “bike and kayak storage,” organic community gardens (or P-Patches in Seattle-speak), and shared composting and recycling facilities. And, not surprisingly, the community will be so pedestrian-centric that owning more than one car could become a major hassle. Explains The Kitsap Sun:

Vehicle parking would be located in consolidated areas away from homes, making residents more likely to use the development's trail network as their primary means of getting around. The trails, including a main public one, would funnel residents toward Madison Avenue, where a farmers market, a grocery store and various Winslow shops are within easy reach. Only one parking space is planned for each home.

As reported by the Kitsap Sun, the developers expect a full-build out to take about five years and homes within Grow Community won’t be exactly cheap — the developers aren’t aiming for affordable housing status or public funding — but will fall on the lower end of things on the somewhat pricey Bainbridge Island scale: Asani anticipates that the one-, two-and three- bedroom homes will sell for in the ballpark of $250,000 to $390,000. In addition to the homes and apartments, the Waldorf-affiliated Madrona School may relocate to the community.

Find out more about this remarkable deep-green neighborhood over at Asani, on Facebook, and on the development’s informative blog. It's also worth reading more about One Planet Communities, a program that I was, until now, unfamiliar with. And stay tuned for this month's installment of “Evergreen Homes" where I'll feature a gorgeous prefab getaway in the wilds of my native state, Washington, that, like pieceHomes and Grow Community, I found out about at Dwell on Design 2011.

Click here for original article:

Saturday, July 2, 2011