On Tuesday, September 28 at 7am, a long-awaited dream began to take shape as construction workers broke ground for the new Seattle Community Farm – tucked behind the Rainier Vista housing community on MLK Drive in South Seattle. To some, it may look like a big pile of dirt right now – but those who have been planning this farm for over a year know it’s future manna.
Seattle Community Farm is the latest project of Solid Ground’s Lettuce Link program, which has engaged the South Park community in sustainable food production at Marra Farm since 1998. The new farm is primarily funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Community Food Project. The City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods also supports the project.
Groundwork for the new Seattle Community Farm was carefully laid over the past year by Lettuce Link staff, VISTA volunteers Leslie Heimer and Jamie Robinson, and landscape designer Eric Higbee, in partnership with the Department of Neighborhoods. They conducted thorough outreach in the Rainier Vista community (representing seven different language groups). They gained valuable feedback and participation in finalizing the design for the new farm from the very people who will utilize and nurture it.
On Saturday prior to the groundbreaking, Lettuce Link joined a Rainier Vista Multicultural Celebration to bring the community together in anticipation of the new farm. Seattle Community Farm Coordinator, Scott Behmer, posted this story about the event on the Lettuce Link. blog.
The vision for the new farm is that it will turn unused urban land into an educational farm for local residents and volunteers. Produce grown at the farm will go to residents with lower incomes, the Rainier Valley food bank, and the children who participate in Lettuce Link programs. The farm will model a shared garden environment rather than individual plots, and will help teach children and youth about gardening and eating healthy foods.
The Seattle Community Farm is a partnership between Lettuce Link, Seattle Housing Authority, and the City of Seattle P-Patch Program. For more information, contact Farm Coordinator Scott Behmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.694.6828, or Lettuce Link Manager Michelle Bates-Benetua at email@example.com or 206.694.6754.