Classes, Events and Alternative Energy!
In this issue: New Classes | Alternative Energy Programs | Farm Frost | Green Events Venue | Third Anniversary 

21 Acres Classes

8 New Classes for December

If the weather seems too blustery and cold this time of year, join us in our warm Kitchen for one of these new classes during December:

Tuesday, December 2 — 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Holiday Pies
It's time for pie! Join us for this class and learn by doing. Our kitchen staff will take you through how to make the perfect pie crust, with and without gluten, and how to fill it with delicious seasonal ingredients. Take home the pie you make—stout beef stew pie, apple pie, or pumpkin custard pie. 
Friday, December 5 — 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Yes, You Can!
Our monthly hands-on class, Yes, You Can! is becoming very popular. Sign up for this offering -- We'll be making pickled beets and red onion jam. The class is only $15, $10 for members. Have fun, learn something new and take home a couple of jars of goodness to share with friends and family.
Saturday, December 6 — 10 to 11:30 am
Heritage Crafts — Swags and Centerpieces
Mary Saleeby, Botanical Art expert here at 21 Acres, will help you learn the secrets to creating professional-looking swags or centerpieces using greens and garden elements for the holidays. Take this class and you will learn how to make beautiful centerpieces that can be replicated at home easily; Plus, you’ll go home with a completed door-size swag. 
Saturday, December 6 — 1 to 2 pm
Start Right — Make Good Food for Growing Kids
What do you feed the little ones this time of year? Do babies like hearty greens? Do toddlers like cabbage? carrots? We're looking forward to this monthly class when together we'll make local, sustainable food for the youngest of kids.
Saturday, December 6 — 2:30 to 3:30 pm
Soup in a Jar — Warm Gifts for a Cold Season
Surprise the ones you love with a homemade gift to keep them warm on those cold winter nights. Great for kids and adults, bring the whole family to learn how to create a soup mix that is sure to please. Choose from chicken noodle soup, chili, lentil soup, or build your own, our kitchen staff will help you with every colorful layer of these delicious soup starters.
Thursday, December 11 — 6:30 to 7:30 pm
My Local Pantry
This month our My Local Pantry class is designed with holiday gift-giving in mind. Learn how to make: Shortbread Cookie Mix, Soup Mix and Cornbread Mix -- perfect for packaging up and sharing with friends. This class is only $10 -- $7.50 for members.
Friday, December 12 — 6:30 to 8:30 pm
Farm to Table Holidays
Apple and mushroom-stuffed pork tenderloin, roasted root vegetable medley, black bean, squash and kale salad, and honey glazed carrots and parsnips -- wow, what a meal! All local and sustainably produced. Join our kitchen team and Registered Dietitian Matt Keen to learn how to make this nutritious meal for the holidays. Register early for this class, because with this menu, it will fill up.
Saturday, December 13 — 1 to 3 pm
Cookie and Gingerbread Decorating
Cookie decorating is a holiday tradition. Leave the chemical food colorings at the store as our kitchen team teaches you how to make colorful dyes from fruit and vegetable powders. Take home our delicious shortbread and gingerbread cookie recipes, and half a dozen of your own cookie creations. And don't forget to bring the kids for the hands on decorating.

If you’d like to be notified in advance of new programs and classes please send an e-mail to:

Green Events Venue

It has been a busy events season at 21 Acres – in recent weeks we’ve hosted birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, corporate team building meetings, conferences, strategic planning sessions, educational classes and fundraising events. These events have ranged in size from small intimate groups to larger dynamic crowds.

Let us know if you’re looking for a venue.  We look forward to talking with you about what it means to choose 21 Acres – an entirely “green” campus. We’ll share insights on: alternative energy and water systems; our use of all American-made and local produced supplies; tools and kitchen equipment; how we find petroleum-free materials (living without plastics); and the strength of the local food system; including how we source only sustainably produced food for events.  If you have questions, please contact

Farm is Winding Down

Our farm at 21 Acres is winding down for the season.  The recent cold snap meant that we lost a lot of produce in the fields, but not all. Plus, we still have plenty of storage items such as squash, onions and potatoes.  Apparently our farm wasn’t alone in being hit with frost as we’ve heard from other growers that they’re experiencing the same.  Learning to eat with the seasons and to enjoy the bounty while it's available is never more evident than now. We’re using what we put up during the summer and cooking a lot of root vegetables, hearty greens and dried beans. If you’re committed to eating local year-round but need creative ideas this time of year be sure to stop in our kitchen and talk with Asako and Sue. They’re full of ideas for tasty winter dishes.

3 Years

We had just a handful of staff on board three years ago when the 21 Acres building opened the first week of November, 2011.  Our anniversary actually snuck up on us this month – now that we have more than 20 folks working at 21 Acres and many volunteers on site the building is bustling and we were too busy to notice the special date.  Once we looked at the calendar, we took a few minutes to think how far we’ve come and to send out warm thoughts to our community, both near and far, for supporting the growth of this nonprofit.


Gretchen Garth, 21 Acres
Board President

Conservation and Alternative Energy

Many people have begun to make changes to reduce their energy consumption from turning off lights when not in use, installing LED bulbs, scheduling an energy audit or purchasing Energy Star appliances that offer utility rebates.  These are some of the ways you can cut energy costs during a cold snap such as the one we're currently experiencing.
Passive solar is another inexpensive way to conserve energy - opening up your south facing curtains or blinds allows heat into your home offsetting the costs of mechanical heating.  

Most of you know hot water heaters are one of the biggest energy users in the home - heater wraps can help bring costs down, but hot water continues to be produced no matter how much you use; this can be expensive.  Instant hot water heaters can be part of the solution; solar thermal has been around for a long time and is reliable even on cloudy days.
Or you can go solar to power your electrical needs with home solar kits or have one of the growing number of companies who install solar give you an estimate.  Kurt Sahl at 21 Acres provides a resource list below of where you can get information, incentives or loans to participate in renewable energy, which may take some start up financing, but if you're a proponent of Slow Money, you know that in time the savings will pay for themselves and your energy costs go down dramatically. Contact for any questions you may have to get you started.

-- Gretchen



For customer-generated electricity (residential) in Washington, the primary incentive source is the Renewable Energy Cost Recovery Incentive Program. (This incentive pays customers for the electricity they produce.) There is also a sales tax exemption for renewable energy equipment purchased (same Web site as above. 

Renewable Energy Incentive Options

Seattle City Light has three options: 
1. Green Up — Customers pay a little extra each month to support renewable energy generation.
2. Community Solar — Customers buy a “share” of a remote solar panel array and receive a credit on their electricity bill.
3. Customer generation — Customer installed and owned solar array that produces electricity (Washington State Cost Recovery Program).
Puget Sound Energy has one option:
1. Customer generation — Customers install solar array and generate electricity (Washington state Cost Recovery Program).  


Puget Sound Energy
Seattle City Light


Database of state incentives

The one-stop shop for energy information in Washington is WSU Extension Energy Program

Graphs that show the growth in customer-owned generation -- Renewable Cost Recovery System Results. 


Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union has many loan programs. 


Northwest S.E.E.D. - Sustainable Energy for Economic Development helps communities collaborate on solar.
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