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P-Patch Community Gardens

Thistle

The South-end Farm

Started in the mid 1970s, the Thistle Street P-Patch had become a sorry spot by the early 1980s. Forty garden plots, many unused and weedy, sat on some of the richest bottomland around. The garden was rediscovered when numerous refugee families moved from Southeast Asia to southeast Seattle. They brought with them wonderful gardening skills, unusual tools, a willingness to work incredibly hard, and seeds! Conversations were of, "What is that plant?" and "How do you eat it?"

A visit to Thistle is like a tour of the world. Italian tomatoes grow side by side with oriental shizo. Midwestern row gardens adjoin widely broadcast raised beds of greens. Koreans plant next to Vietnamese, Italians, Cambodians -- all Americans, now. Seniors garden next to moms with babies on their backs. Thistle is always a beautiful mixture, but early spring is best time to visit, when the black soil, freshly turned, contrasts with the succulent greens.

Thistle P-Patch has grown over the years. A 1990 grant from Puget Consumers' Co-op paid for materials to expand the water system and till more land. From the original forty plots, the site is now over an acre, on which more than 125 families produce food. From gardeners working hard to feed their families we hear, "Oh, just a little space to grow one more row of peas," or, "My sister's family just came here and they really need a garden...." 2004 brought a redesign and more space for gardening.

Directions

(Map)

From Downtown:

  1. Take I-5 South
  2. Take the I-5 South / I-90 East ramp towards Bellevue / Spokane
  3. Merge onto I-90 East and get into the right lane as soon as possible
  4. Take the Rainier Ave S exit, exit #3
  5. Turn Right on Rainier Ave S
  6. Bear Right on Martin Luther King Jr Way S
  7. Continue on Martin Luther King 3.6 miles to S Cloverdale
  8. P-Patch on the right

 

 
Address

Martin Luther King Jr Way S & S Cloverdale St (Map)

Details

Size: 3 acres
Established: 1974
Number of Plots: 77
Plot Sizes:
Average Wait: 1 year
Ownership of Land: City Light

Features

 

Bus Routes

36, 42, 48

Links

 

 
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