The Pacific Northwest is a funny place.
The calendar says spring, but my Gore-Tex jacket and shivering bones disagree.
Yet springtime in the Evergreen State is marked by a return to the earth; a reconnection to kneepads, dirty fingernails and mulch. You guessed it: It’s Garden Time, yo.
Gardening is serious business here in Seattle. I’m talking veggies: carrots, tomatoes and more chard (think: roughage) than you care to imagine. (And as dietitians we can image quite a lot.)
In the city, there’s a 37 year-old tradition of urban agriculture. Colloquially known as ‘P-Patches,’ these community gardens dot Seattle’s landscape and cover about 23 acres in total. In 2010, about 4,400 citizen gardeners painstakingly labored over rented plots ranging in size between 40 and 2500sq.ft.
But P-Patch gardening is not about bragging rights over who can grow the biggest bunch of lacinato kale. Seattleites rarely get into fisticuffs over who grew the biggest heirloom tomato. No, P-Patch gardening is about building community, fostering organic gardening techniques and relishing in a spirit of self reliance. It’s also about giving back. Last year, P-Patch gardeners donated over 25,000 pounds of organic produce to area food banks. Did I mention roughage?
In the month of April, Zing has partnered with Pacific Northwest Whole Foods Markets to support the P-Patch movement and non-profit organizations such as the P-Patch Trust. From now until April 26th, Zing Bars will be on sale for $1.99 each at Washington and Oregon Whole Foods Markets and 3% of all Zing sales will go directly P-Patches. That’s a win-win. Here’s to Spring 2011 and the most successful gardening season yet.
If you’d like to learn more about P-Patch gardening in and around Seattle, check out: