P-Patch community gardens

Renovation Germinates at Eastlake P-Patch

A part of Fairview Park at 2900 Fairview Avenue E., the Eastlake P-Patch is a beautiful, intensively farmed garden that is free and open for the public to wander through and enjoy. Along with the steady stream of smiling, strolling visitors, rendered briefly carefree through the power of flowers, the gardeners produce a staggering amount of top quality hyper-local, organic produce for local food banks. And, it has often been a stop high on the list for delegations from other cities and countries to visit a model community garden. For a photo, historical background, rules, and how to sign up for a garden plot, see the City’s P-Patch web page at http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/programs-and-services/p-patch-community-gardening/p-patch-list/eastlake.

The Eastlake P-Patch is one of Seattle’s earliest. It started with neighbors reclaiming abandoned and abused public land in the 1980’s, and is similar to the tradition of community or allotment gardens like those found England, Germany, and Scandinavia. Since its beginning, the P-Patch has been built and maintained almost entirely by community volunteers who have heard the call and pitched in when needed to make Eastlake a little better place to live. A minimal city staff sets policy for the 88 P-patches in the city.

Following a community-led expansion 5 years ago, Eastlake’s garden now has 50 plots gardened by individuals. After decades of service, the older wood beds have become rotted beyond repair. Garden lovers may find their hearts fluttering like delicate petals at the news — the Eastlake P-Patch is amidst a small 6-month capital project to renovate their decaying garden bed frames. The dedicated volunteers who maintain the Patch are committed to restoring that part of the garden to its former youthful glory.

Thanks to over $20,000 in pledged donations of time and money from concerned neighbors, and a grant from the city’s Department of Neighborhoods, the P-Patch will soon remove the existing wood and replace it. At the same time, some irrigation and paths and plots will be slightly moved to improve access. All labor and services, including design and construction, comes from generous local volunteers. The organizers hasten to add that there is still a need for more donations and volunteer help. To get involved, please contact marileefuller@gmail.com

Winter Solstice Celebration at the Eastlake P-Patch Saturday, Dec. 17, 2 p.m. The Eastlake P-Patch is progressing with the rebuild of decaying garden beds. We will begin by showcasing the work completed so far, and chart the reconstruction still to happen come spring. Your participation helps the P-Patch earn from the Department of Neighborhoods the matching funds needed to pay for what we cannot get by donation. And please also stay for the winter solstice celebration to follow immediately!

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