Urban Farming Organizations are Taking Root in Seattle
Beacon Hill Food Forest's permaculture site.
The urban farming movement has firmly taken root in the Seattle area, but maybe you don’t have the yard for it or the green thumb to grow your own. Not to worry! A bushel of local organizations are making sure that families of all means and horticultural skill levels are able to participate in growing, harvesting and eating local fruits and veggies.
Beacon Hill Food Forest is the largest food forest on public land in the United States. The nonprofit group managing the forest aims to unite members of the diverse Beacon Hill neighborhood by fostering a commitment to urban farming and land stewardship. The BHFF shares the urban food bounty by assigning P-Patch plots to people who donate their time to the organization.
Family-friendly work parties are held the third Saturday of every month through October from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There’s no registration, so just come with work gloves, water and a donation of $2 to $5 for lunch. beaconfoodforest.org
AlleyCat Acres runs multiple urban farms throughout Seattle. Once volunteers have familiarized themselves with their neighborhood farm, they are free to work on-site any time. Volunteers and community partners help out with harvests, and volunteers can take home their share, donate it or both. Leftover food goes to local food banks. AlleyCat Acres also hosts multiple work parties throughout the year. alleycat-acres.org
ROAR is a mobile farm stand that sells produce grown in urban farms citywide. The stand moves to different sites through the week and can be found at the Hillman City Collaboratory on Sundays, Rainier Health and Fitness on Mondays, the High Point Market Garden on Wednesdays, the Seattle Indian Health Board on Thursdays (for employees only), and the Hillman City P-Patch on Fridays.
ROAR frequently hosts family-friendly events that include ice cream trucks and craft projects. The group also invites families to volunteer at garden work parties and their website includes recipes that parents and children can cook together at home. roarseattle.org
Community Orchard of West Seattle is a volunteer-operated demonstration and education garden. Families are welcome to visit the garden and volunteer at work parties. This fall, volunteers will harvest winter squash and possibly some late-season annuals, and help out with compost making, tying up vining vegetables and weeding. Work parties will continue every Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. through November, though garden hours change Nov. 1. fruitinwestseattle.org
To learn about urban farming in and around Seattle with kids, check out: