I recently got into a P-Patch in Seattle! I am very excited about this.
P-Patches are community gardens that are run by the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The basic idea is that people who normally might not have a space to garden, can go dig in their own little patch of dirt, and for a nominal fee ($34/year per 100 sqft), have an organic gardening space to call their own. It requires a minimal amount of volunteer work, 8 hours per year, and 4 hours must be in your own garden-site.
It was actually a bit of a process to garner my patch o' land. I learned about this program shortly after moving to Seattle last year (January of 2006), and promptly put myself on the waitlist for the P-Patch in Belltown, since that is where I lived. Of course, I got into the Belltown P-Patch as I bought my condo, so I emailed the kind folks at the P-Patch office and asked them how to go about revising my original request so I could get into a P-Patch in Ballard. They put me back on the appropriate wait-list, and I got an email about a month later announcing the good news! So that was exciting.
I had my orientation last night. I learned where the compost was, how to get in the tool shed, where my plot was (it happens to be the one with all the weeds in it. Obviously the growing season has taken it by surprise.), etc. The soil appears very healthy, crumbly and dark. Mmm. Like a good chocolate cake. I am looking forward to this; despite my hippie sensibilities, I have never gardened organically.
I am still trying to decide what to plant. I learned that you don't have to really worry about getting organic seeds, though it's a good idea and I might start doing that next year, but this year I need to get things in the ground, so I might go with starts from my local stores. I am thinking of lettuces, beets, green beans (since my friend promised her mom would pickle them), maybe a watermelon? The space is small, however, and I think I may end up with more of a cutting (flower) garden this year than fruitful plants. There is also a bunch of wild arugula behind the compost bins that is very tasty...I shall have to harvest some for myself! :-)
Oh, the sky is beautiful right now! I wish I had the day off! Although I will be done soon, so I can go garden then go do my due diligences (?) before bussing-then-ferrying off to the boyfriend!