Volunteering at Solid Ground’s Lettuce Link program
As the sun set over the Rainier Valley on Thursday, April 16th, a group of WPIG gals met up with Scott Behmer, the Farm Coordinator at the Seattle Community Farm. Armed with trowels, shovels and weeding tools, the team worked to clear a bed of recently harvested Swiss chard plants, turning the soil and preparing it for it’s next crop. The leafy chard greens had been one of the first crops of the year, grown at the Seattle Community Farm and distributed to local families through the Rainier Valley Food Bank.
The 1/2-acre farm was established in 2009 when Solid Ground, the Seattle Housing Authority and Seattle’s P-Patch Program came together to turn unused urban land into a farm for local residents and community volunteers. As part of Solid Ground’s Lettuce Link program, the Seattle Community Farm is just one of many farms and community P-Patch gardens that produce tens of thousands of pounds of fresh, nutritious, organic produce for families with lower incomes in Seattle.
In the booming town of Seattle, many of us were surprised to learn that the demand for food assistance was growing in our own community, with need nearly doubling since 2009. Rising to the demand, Solid Ground, with the support of community volunteers and over 30 programs and services is able to support more than 60,000 households each year. Through gardening education, sustainable food production, environmental stewardship and nutrition education, Lettuce Link is working to fight hunger and build strong, healthy communities in Seattle and beyond.
Working diligently throughout the evening, we were able to tend just a single bed out of many different beds, each with the capacity to provide fresh, healthy foods for families in need. Planting new seeds into the ground as the sky darkened, it was easy to see how just a few hours of work by a group of volunteers, with the support of mother nature, could make a difference. Community and volunteer run, the Seattle Community Farm is a great resource for families in the Rainier Valley and Solid Ground is making strides towards ensuring all Seattle families have access to healthy, natural foods.