Thistle

Address: Martin Luther King Way Jr Way S & S Cloverdale St

About The P-Patch

Number Of Plots: 77
Established: 1974
Size: 3 acres
Wait Time: 6-12 months

The South-end Farm
(submitted by a Thistle P-Patch community gardener)

Started in the mid-1970s, the Thistle 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. 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 the 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. 2004 brought a redesign and more space for gardening. 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...."


Get Involved!

If you are interested in designing, building, or gardening in this P-Patch or another P-Patch, find out more about the P-Patch sign-up process here. To sign up as a P-Patch participant, call 206-684-0264, email p-patch.don@seattle.gov, or sign up online.