Lettuce Link (an innovative food and gardening program growing and giving since 1988) creates access to fresh, nutritious, and organic produce, seeds, and gardening information for families with lower incomes in Seattle. We work to educate the community about food security and sustainable food production.
There were lovely beverages and music. The sun was shining and there was food for the eyes all over the property. From the huge cistern in the front, which collects water from the down spouts, to the top bar hive in the back, I was in heaven with my camera.
It would be an understatement to say that Sue, our host and the Marra Farm coordinator (an historic four-acre urban farm in the South Park neighborhood, which donates produce to a local food bank), makes the most of her space.
Every inch of the backyard is productive and beautiful. After gawking at her tremendous lacinato kale, I finally pulled her aside and said, “Sue, tell me what you do to your kale!” And her reply, “It’s all about the soil. I’ve been building the soil for 17 years.” She also told me that the kale plants at Marra farms that they harvest really heavily each week are shorter and more palm tree-esque, like mine.
So it was with that inspiration, being in Sue’s garden, meeting great people, hearing about this amazing organization, that I got home with a little more fire under my boots. It’s always been my goal to grow as much of my own food as possible, which I am. I haven’t needed to buy fresh produce since early spring. But I think it’s time that I expand a little bit of my growing space for the benefit of others. I’ve recently decided that with a full time job and my second life as urban farmer (oh yeah, and the countless hours I spend taking pictures and nerding out over my blog), there just aren’t enough hours in the day for volunteering, even though I want to Â share my skills with the community. So now, in discovering Lettuce Link, I think I’ve found a way that I can contribute without necessarily donating my time. I can donate my food. I’m going to build myself a “giving garden.”
I’m going to transform the rest of my grassy front yard into productive space that I can use to grow food for the food bank. I’ve got a combination of sun and shade with those maples, which will make a lovely bed for the greens and root vegetables we can grow so well here.Â At the end of this season, I’ll begin sheet mulching to transform the lawn that’s not really thriving and hard to mow anyway into food for people who need it. So thank you, Lettuce Link, for inspiring me to be a giving gardener. Stay tuned for updates as I embark on this new adventure!