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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

Reimagining Suburbia/Spokane Valley With Farms Instead of Asphalt

Architect Forrest Fulton is wondering about the potential of suburban farming:

My proposal...reverses the function of a big box grocery store, from retailer of food – food detached from processes from which it came to be – to producer and preparer of food. The parking lot becomes a park-farm. The inside of the big box becomes a greenhouse and restaurant. Asphalt farming techniques allow for layering of soil and compost in containers on top of asphalt. The big box store’s roof is partially replaced with a greenhouse roof. Other details, such as the reversal of parking lot light poles into solar trees that hold photovoltaics can be implemented.

Maybe Spokane Valley ought to think about making a working farm the center of community life with a thriving farmers market, instead of all the bricks and mortar and asphalt and lawn they've been planning for. It would certainly be true to the history of the Valley. Apparently they want feedback on their plans.

Comments will be accepted through Dec. 6 at 5 p.m. They may be sent to Kathy McClung, Director of the Department of Community Development, City of Spokane Valley, 11707 E. Sprague Ave., Suite 106, Spokane Valley, WA 99206 or e-mailed to

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at