Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gardens in the City

Cities are not designed to prioritize food production. Citizens buy food in stores, leaving housing and commerce to take up the cityscape. However, there are a number of people who enjoy growing their own food, for political, social, or aesthetic reasons. They find growing room in sidewalks and vacant lots and transform those spaces into tasty gardens. This is not only appealing to people who want to grow food, but also to those wanting a little more greenery around the city.

One example is Alleycat Acres in the Central District, on the corner of East Union Street and 22nd Avenue. The photos were taken around 1:00 PM on January 17, 2013 on an overcast Seattle afternoon. Surrounding the garden are shops, restaurants, houses and other common city fixtures. To one side of the plot of land is a boxing gym and to the other is a 76 gas station. Across the street lies a fenced in vacant plot, waiting to be developed.
The U-District P-patch, on 40th and 8th, is a slightly different community garden. Squeezed in between high rises, I-5 and a Metro transit facility, the P-patch ispart of a city-wide gardening program which seeks to build community through developing unused space. It is organized into rows of individual plots, decorated with personalized signs and arches. General maintenance work is maintained by monthly work parties, which blends community and individual responsibility.  These pictures were taken at 1:00 PM on January 24, 2013.

Many Seattleites enjoy gardening, which can be seen just by walking down the street. The last photo is of a sidewalk garden. Though the garden probably has an owner, it is out in the open and its aesthetic qualities can be enjoyed by any passer-by. The street sign and utility pole also illustrate how one small space can have many functions.

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