Marra Farm, a 4-acre (1.6 ha) plot of land in Marra-Desimone Park, South Park, Seattle, Washington is one of only two historic agricultural parcels inside Seattle city limits that retains an agricultural use today; the other is Picardo Farm.
It was operated from the early 1900s until the 1970s as a truck farm by the Italian American Marra family, and then sold to King County. Little was done with the land until 1997, when several neighborhood residents and one VISTA volunteer began restoration efforts. They were joined the following year by several nonprofit organizations, government programs and other individuals. The farm now plays a significant role in providing produce to people living in the largely poor neighborhood of South Park, growing more than 13,000 pounds (5,900 kg) of organic produce each year.
In 2000, community organizer John Beal and the King Conservation District daylighted a section of the Lost Fork of Hamm Creek on the western edge of Marra Farm.
As of 2008, the farmland is shared among the several member organizations of the Marra Farm Coalition. Lettuce Link, under the aegis of anti-poverty organization Solid Ground; Seattle's P-Patch system of allotment gardens; Seattle Youth Garden Works (SYGW), through which at-risk youths operate a cooperative market garden business, selling their produce at the Columbia City Farmer's Market; Mien Community Garden, tended by low-income Yao Fou Chao and Mien who practice their traditional agricultural techniques; and the South Park Neighborhood Association (SPNA). The SPNA provides services including meeting space and liability insurance.
Also as of 2008, Seattle Parks and Recreation is in the process of several improvements to the farmland and is rehabilitating land immediately east of the agricultural area. They are establishing trails and paths, play areas, social gathering areas including a community pavilion, and swales for drainage.
- Marra Farm on the Solid Ground site. Accessed online 16 January 2009.
- Athima Chansanchai, Marra Farm plants seeds for South Park community, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 3, 2005. Accessed online 28 October 2006.
- Marra Farm on the Solid Ground site two several statistics illustrating the poverty of the surrounding district. "More than 13% of South Park households live below the poverty line. Over 90% of children at South Park's Concord Elementary School qualify for the free or reduced school lunch program".
- Marra-Desimone Park Pro Parks Project Information, Seattle Parks and Recreation, October 2008. Accessed online 16 January 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marra Farm.|
- Marra-Desimone Park Pro Parks Project Information, Seattle Parks and Recreation.
- Marra Farm on Solid Ground site