go green

When the daffodils bulbs start to push from the earth, it's a sure sign that spring is on the way.  Green thumbs rejoice at the arrival of seed catalogues, primroses and pansies at the local markets, and the promise of a new growing season.  It is also a season of abundant opportunities to learn more about gardening at class, on a tour, or by volunteering at a community garden.  Here are some of our favorites:

Garden tours: for those wanting to see beautiful landscaping up close:  the historic Dunn Gardens in Seattle's Broadview neighborhood offers tours and workshops, the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge is offering secret season walks on March 16th and 18th, and the beloved Heronswood Garden in Kingston will bring back their Friday open days on March 3rd along with popular plant sales in April and May.

Visit the newly reopened City People's Garden Store in the Madison Valley or Urban Feed and Garden on Beacon Hill and sign up for free workshops on seed starting, landscaping with edibles, and more.  

Early spring plant sales:  don't miss Seattle Tilth's spring edible plant sale on March 18th, this year taking place at Orca K8 school in the Columbia City neighborhood.  Looking for native plants?  Check out the Seward Park Audubon's sale on March 11th and 12th.  Not only are these plants easy to grow and care for, they are just the thing to invite birds and natural pollinators to your yard.

Volunteer opportunities:  Don't have a yard but still wish to garden?  Join a work party at the Beacon Food Forest or the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands, or sign up for a pea patch garden of your own!

Read and marvel at the new book Plant: Exploring the Botanical World by Phaidon ... the extraordinary images will inspire.

Go green!


A new year brings potential.  Potential for greatness, potential for adventure, potential for positive change.  What will you do in 2017?

Lately, I've been giving much thought to the power of learning something new.  A word that continues to pop up is "neuroplasticity".  Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's ability to change and grow over the course of a lifetime.  For many decades, it was believed that as we aged our brains became "fixed", hence the phrase "you can't teach an old dog new tricks".  However, modern research shows just the opposite.  Our brains continue to develop over time, creating new neurons and connections. Every time we learn something new, connections are being made, there is an increase in blood flow and the internal structure of existing synapses can change.  A 2010 study in The Journal of Neuroscience found that after only two sessions of practicing a new task, the brain creates more gray matter.  Doing something over and over again doesn't just make the task easier, but it can actually change the brain's structure.

Whether you decide to play a musical instrument, learn a foreign language, master a skill, or simply try something you've never done before - may this year be full of growth and potential!  Happy New Year!



merry and bright

It's time to deck the halls!  Parties with bubbly, cross-country visits with family and friends, twinkly lights and Frank Sinatra crooning on the stereo. The sights, sounds, and experiences with the people we love are truly what make the holidays the most wonderful time of year.  

Here we share some of the festivities that we are looking forward to this season, along with our gift guide -- even though we encourage giving the gift of experience, it's always fun to have a few packages under the tree!

Happy holidays field trippers, thank you for all of your support this year -- may your days be merry and bright!

Holiday fun . . .

History, Contained in Occidental Park December 1st:  Learn about Seattle's 1920's era history in this unique art installation featuring an ice sculptor, oil painter, calligraphy artists, carolers AND a dusting of snow every day through December at 5:30 p.m.!  

Get your 'merry, merry' on downtown with the Figgy Pudding caroling competition on December 3rd, along with a visit to the Gingerbread Village at the Sheraton,  and the carousel and tree in Westlake Park.  When you've had your fill, retreat to a cozy dinner at the beloved Le Pichet in Belltown.

Equinox Studios 10th Anniversary Open House December 10th -- over 125 resident artists, music, poetry, dance, food trucks and more -- an inspiring evening for all ages that's not to be missed!

Don't be a cotton-headed ninny-muggins and miss Elf at the Central Cinema December 16 - 20th.

See author Paul Bannick discussing Owls of North America at the Royal Room December 20th, seats for this free and fascinating evening are sure to go fast, reserve now.

The ultimate treat on Christmas eve?  A glass of the iconic aged egg nog from Sun Liquor Distillery.  They will be selling releases of this coveted beverage over the month of December at their Bottle Shop, watch their Facebook page for updates, it goes fast!

Holiday gift guide . . .

For the home:  Get festive with fresh, locally-sourced and fully compostable evergreen garlands from Fortunate Orchard available at Little Lago or by special order.

For an out of this world hostess gift:  Pick up a cake at Deep Sea Sugar and Salt in their new location at the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall ... salted caramel chocolate, pistachio lemon and peach bourbon? yes please.

For the outdoorsman or woman:  You can't beat Emerald Water Anglers in West Seattle.  Dave McCoy and his team will hook you up with the best in outdoor adventure gear -- who doesn't need a Stanley thermos with bottle opener cap?

For the foodie or cocktail aficionado:  You're sure to find something to please at Sugarpill Apothecary -- from a vast array of bitters, salts and spices, specialty vinegars and oils, chocolates and so much more.

For the nature-loving sophisticate:  Visit Niche Outside, located in Chophouse Row of Capitol Hill -- filled with fine textiles, books, ceramics, nature-inspired art and gardening accessories.  While there, stop by Kurt's Farm Shop next door for their marvelous cheeses and ice cream.

For the bird-watcher:  bird houses by Nice Nests made from salvaged wood in Twisp, WA available at Seward Park Audubon Center -- stock up on seed and suet while you're there!

For the reader:  Support local independent book sellers like Third Place Books and Elliot Bay Book Co.  Our favorites this year:  The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams, In Bloom: Creating and Living with Flowers by Ngoc Minh Ngo, and Lark: Cooking Wild in the Northwest by local chef, John Sundstrom.

For the music lover:  Get happy with a ukulele from Georgetown Music and then learn how to play it with us come February!

For the curious grown-up:  a gift certificate to the Field Trip Society!  We have a fantastic year in store for you, bring a friend and come learn something new!

For everyone:  A monthly donation to your favorite non-profit organizations, they need us now more than ever!