Podcast | How urban gardening took root in Seattle

P-Patches launched a modern agricultural movement in the 1970s, sprouting from a small family farm in Wedgwood.

P-Patch in 1970s

A growing P-Patch in the 1970s. (Courtesy of MOHAI)

Seattle was once full of farms. But as the city developed, land-use regulation and other forces began to push farmers out.

One farming family feeling the squeeze in Seattle in the 1970s helped launch a program that has had a profound impact on the city ever since. A piece of their land became the first of what is now a collection of about 90 public urban gardens, or “P-Patches.”

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Crosscut’s resident historian Knute Berger dug into this history and what it represents in a recent episode of the Mossback’s Northwest video series, but there is a lot more left to unearth. 

In this episode of Mossback, Berger joins co-host Stephen Hegg to discuss Seattle’s early efforts at farm-to-table living, how the rise of supermarkets and other economic forces almost derailed them, the details of the first P-Patch and what these popular gardens now symbolize in an ever-changing city.

About the Hosts

Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Knute “Mossback” Berger is Crosscut's Editor-at-Large.

Stephen Hegg

Stephen Hegg

Stephen is formerly a senior video producer at Crosscut and KCTS 9. He specialized in arts and culture.