Working in times of COVID-19

Working in times of COVID-19

Being a landscaping company in Kitsap County – where COVID cases are relatively low – it’s fairly easy to work safely.

Of course, there are guidelines put forth by the Governor’s office specifically defining what it means to work safely. Colby and I are rule followers when it comes to business. And we believe in doing what’s best for the greater good of our community.

Since our clients include senior living centers and medical offices, it’s incredibly important that we do all the things we can to keep our employees safe and our clients safe.

Our employees wear gloves when operating shared equipment.

This means that tracking down Clorox wipes, nitrile gloves and other PPE has become my part-time job. If you’re tasked with this responsibility in your household or business, then you know these highly coveted items are not widely available like they once were. On more than one occasion, I’ve had to go to three different places in order to procure necessary supplies.

But we manage to stay stocked, sanitized and gloved. We now have weekly health policy meetings so that all employees know what practices they must follow.

Employees are required to:

  1. Show up for work wearing a mask or face covering
  2. Wear a mask or face covering all day
  3. Use hand sanitizer before touching company property
  4. Keep hand sanitizer on them throughout the day and use hand wipes and hand sanitizer every time they return to their vehicle
  5. Wear gloves when operating shared equipment
  6. Wear a mask and gloves when getting gas or taking lunch at gas stations or going inside of stores
  7. Stay 6-ft away from one another, and all people throughout the day, including and especially clients
  8. Wipe down or spray inside of truck and all shared equipment at the end of the day
  9. Contact me immediately if they or any household member is sick

We provide hand wipes, masks and cloth facial coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer to all employees. “Staying safe” has always been an important part of our company culture, but now these words have new meaning in light of COVID-19.

Our employees wear face coverings on every job site.

Despite the strangeness of interacting while wearing a mask, we’ll continue these practices as long as we need to during this unprecedented time.

And we very much look forward to once again living in a world where we can knock on clients’ doors and see when a smile breaks out on someone’s face.

Take good care,


A message from Colby regarding COVID-19

A message from Colby regarding COVID-19

I hope all of you are doing well right now despite these very strange times.  It’s easy to get lost in the panic and fear – both warranted emotions.  Some of you are concerned about pre-existing conditions that may not interact well with this virus, in the still – at this moment – unlikely event that you are exposed to it.  Some of you are concerned about your business and livelihood, and I sympathize with your worries. I share them with you.

Meeshka and I have reflected a lot on this moment.  We have employees with conditions that do not do well with this virus, like asthma, and as employers we have a responsibility to keep our employees safe, which in turn keeps all of you in our community safer as well.  We also have a job to do and we take that seriously too.

Your landscapes may be a place of refuge for you in the coming months, even more so than they have been in the past.  We are thankful that we may be able to provide you with some joy despite these strange times.

We all have skills and talents to contribute during hard times, and we believe the best thing we can do for you is to continue to provide you with a beautiful landscape to spend time in and engage with.  Our landscapes can be very healing and the perfect place to escape from the world around us.  We just finished installing a beautiful landscape in Bremerton, and as I walked it with our clients, both of them had ear-to-ear smiles.  As we admired our surroundings I mentioned how easy it was to forget about all the chaos and uncertainty of the moment, simply by being outside. For us, this is what it’s all about, and we intend on preserving that respite for you.

As a company, we have instituted very strict measures, to do our part in quelling this pandemic: 

  • Employees no longer enter our building to clock in. Clock in and out is done in an open air space that is sprayed down multiple times a day.
  • Employees are required to use hand sanitizer before touching company property.
  • Employees work with the same person each day, in an effort to minimize employee interaction.
  • Equipment and trucks are wiped or sprayed down with Clorox at the end of each shift.
  • Employees are instructed to wear disposable nitrile gloves when getting gas or taking lunch at gas stations.
  • Employees are given hand sanitizer, nitrile gloves, Clorox wipes and hand wipes in every truck.
  • Employees are to call Meeshka if they or a household member feel ill.

Both of us talk with our employees regularly about how to stay safe, and have gone over very detailed practices to protect them and their families, including: handwashing demonstrations, not touching surfaces or their faces, staying informed about the state of the pandemic so that they can change behavior accordingly, social distancing, coughing dos and don’ts, and more.

Rest assured that we take this event very seriously and are making responsible choices to keep us safe, our employees safe, our clients safe and our communities safe. We can’t control what’s happening “out there,” but we can control our practices and how we conduct our business.

If we can be of service to you, please give us a call at 360-697-3215. After all, we work outdoors and can absolutely work safely.

We wish you and your family good health.

Many thanks,


Community Service Day

Community Service Day

This was our second time volunteering our time and labor at Chico Salmon Park in Bremerton. Just like last year, we had a great time! An added bonus was being fed homemade cookies made by one of the park’s regular volunteers.

Chico Salmon Park Bremerton

L to R: Chico Salmon Park’s John Mikesell, Josh, Byron & Domingo

We constructed a small split rail fence, installed pipes for better drainage and laid mulch provided to the park by Asplundh.

community service

Byron and a park volunteer hold the rail steady as Domingo and Josh secure it.

The park’s committed volunteers have done an amazing job creating a welcoming park where visitors can watch the salmon run in the fall or simply take a stroll and learn about native plants. The transformation that we’ve seen here over just a few short years is remarkable.

community service

Domingo and Byron spread mulch.

We look forward to returning to the park this fall to view salmon on their journey to spawn! If you’re interested in volunteering with Chico Salmon Park, keep up with them on Facebook and sign up for one of their monthly work parties.

Check out more photos from our Community Service Day here.

Thanks for reading our blog. Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

5 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Kitsap

If you’re looking for ways to celebrate Christmas in Kitsap County, we’ve got five ideas to help you feel that holiday cheer.


Colby decorates the tree.

1) The first is likely already on your list – go and get a Christmas tree! Here in the Pacific Northwest, there’s no shortage of places to get one. Vendors are set up in every major shopping area, and the big box stores carry them as well. We encourage you to skip the Home Depot tree and shop local. By doing so you support the people in your community and grow your local economy. For us, there’s no place we love more than Olmsted Tree Farms. They’ve been in business since 1968 and have six locations throughout Central, South and North Kitsap, including two U-cut farms.

BHS marching band photo at Winterfest credit Meegan M Reid/Kitsap Sun

BHS marching band photo at Winterfest credit Meegan M Reid/Kitsap Sun

2) Our second tip is to attend Winterfest in downtown Bremerton on Friday, December 5th from 5-8pm. Sweet Adeline carolers will be singing holiday tunes in the street, and the BHS marching band will make an appearance as Santa arrives by fire truck at the Naval Museum at 5:30pm. Kids and adults can catch a free, horse drawn carriage ride at Pacific & Burwell, and the tree lighting in Manette happens at 7pm. Shops and art galleries will be open late, offering hot cocoa and goodies so sweet.

Christmas in Kitsap

Santa’s at The Vintage Housewife in Poulsbo on Saturdays in December.

3) Celebrate Christmas in Kitsap by – surprise, surprise – snapping a photo with Santa. Our sister Courtnee Stevenson is the owner of a brilliant home décor shop on Front Street in Poulsbo, The Vintage Housewife, where Santa will be on Saturdays throughout the month of December from 11am – 3pm. Stop by for a twofer – get some holiday shopping done while the kids get a photo with Santa. To add to all of this holiday fun, carriage rides are also available.

the brothers greenhouses

Hobbit-inspired, tiny house at The Brothers Greenhouses

4) Our fourth idea is to head to The Brothers Greenhouses in Port Orchard. If you’ve never been, Christmas is a great time to do so. Not only do they grow all of their poinsettias available for sale on site, but they’ve recently built a woodland, hobbit-inspired, tiny house, just in time for the holiday season! Tour the hobbit house, take a group photo, and shop for the garden lover in your life at their gift shop.

Winter Holiday Village photo credit The Bloedel Reserve

Winter Holiday Village photo credit The Bloedel Reserve

5) It seems that tiny is a trend for Christmas in Kitsap, as our final tip is to head over to The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island to check out their winter holiday village. This is the fifth year that their treasured Visitor’s Center will be transformed into a miniature village comprised of handcrafted, intricately designed buildings and electric trains, sure to capture the hearts of young and old alike. This holiday exhibit is included with admission and available for viewing from December 12th – January 4th from 10am – 4pm.

From all of us at Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC, we wish you a fantastic holiday season and a very Merry Christmas in Kitsap!

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.

Kitsap Harvest Dinner 2014

We had a fantastic time at the Kitsap Community and Agricultural Alliance’s Kitsap Harvest Dinner last Saturday at Olympic College, filling our bellies with fresh, locally sourced food and hanging with Elise and Sam of The Brothers Greenhouses. It was our very first time attending the dinner, and now that we know just how delicious the food is on offer, we’ll definitely be back!

A variety of dishes were available for sampling – guessing, I would say over 30 – served buffet style, cooked up by local chefs. The most incredible thing I tasted that night was the clam chowder created by Jeff McClelland of Harbour Public House. My mouth is watering as I type this. It was the best clam chowder I’ve ever had and puts Ivar’s to shame. As a side note, I am so grateful that Colby and I made the choice to no longer be vegetarians. Because what is clam chowder without bacon?

Kitsap Harvest Dinner

I also really loved the rabbit. I have to admit, eating rabbit that night was slightly challenging for me as I once had a bunny for a pet when I was a little girl. But it was so juicy and so tender that my guilt was squashed by my delighted taste buds. I wish I could give credit where credit is due, so if anyone reading this knows which chef was responsible for the rabbit, please log in to Facebook and leave a comment below!

Also very excellent was Monica Downen’s chantrelle mushroom ragout. I love discovering new foods and new flavors, and while I’ve tasted chantrelles before, this dish was a party in my mouth. Was it the chantrelles or how they were prepared that was the cause of all that excitement? Or perhaps it was the mix of all the other vegetables in the dish that created such culinary dynamism? Who knows. It was so good that I went back for seconds.

Kitsap Harvest Dinner

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert. As full as I was, I helped myself to two servings of Viking Feast Ice Cream. My first serving contained all three flavors in one cup; my second serving contained only the best: pumpkin lord. I’m not sure what exactly pumpkin lord is, but I trust that the label in the picture below is correct.

Kitsap Harvest Dinner

While I was enjoying my ice cream, simultaneously, I was in a bidding war with number 65 for the Silent Auction prize of ‘Lunch with Mayor Patty Lent.’ It was a very close call. If I hadn’t gotten up one final time to ensure that I was indeed the highest bidder, I would have lost. I am so happy that I my competitive nature was with me that night, because sometime soon, I will be lunching with Mayor Patty Lent!

Though it was a short event, it was a fun and memorable evening. We look forward to next year’s Kitsap Harvest Dinner feast.

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.

Manette Edible Gardens Tour 2014

The Manette Edible Gardens Tour is one of my favorite garden tours of the year, mostly because of its local, homegrown feel. Manette community members come together to organize this annual event, opening their gardens and landscapes for the public to experience first-hand. For a donation of $5, one has access to the most welcoming gardeners who freely share the knowledge they’ve accumulated over the years.

Last August, I took my niece and nephew with me so they could see food being grown and available in one’s own back yard. By the time we left Manette, they had handfuls of garden booty! (Turns out, gardeners are incredibly generous people.) The tour is a great experience for children, and this year’s tour included activities such as face painting and a scavenger hunt.

Colby accompanied me this year. While we didn’t see all of the twelve gardens on offer, we received a wealth of great composting tips at Nano Farm.


compost at Nano Farm

Coffee grinds layered on top of your pile will hide smells, hopefully keeping animals away. Don’t add receipts to your compost; something in them kills the worms. Also, place a bucket of water next to your bin to wet your carbon before putting it in the pile. This is a great way to keep things moist.

We were very impressed by Nano Farm which belongs to homeowners Eugene and Deborah. Upon walking up to their home, we were greeted by a spread of their garden bounty, which included canned and pickled items.

Nano Farm

Nano Farm features sustainable watering systems, a chicken coop, fruit trees, bees and more.

Managing this garden is more than a part-time job and Eugene, a great steward of his land, is up to the task in every way. He was, after all, part of a grassroots coalition that helped to “legalize chickens” in Bremerton. Using simple yet incredibly effective technology, he captures water from his garage to water his garden. Being retired, he also has the time to keep bees.


Beekeeping at Nano Farm

It was a great afternoon. We appreciate seeing folks doing what they love and doing it well. Cheers to the good people of Manette and everyone involved with the Manette Edible Gardens Tour!

Thanks for reading our blog.  Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.