On an overcast fall afternoon, UW Farm Manager Sarah Geurkink pulls bright red radishes from the ground at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture (CUH), and bands them into tight bundles. The radishes, along with mixed greens and carrots, are harvested to be sold at Alder Hall’s District Market. Geurkink, who moved to Seattle from Michigan, became interested in farming food after seeing the poor diets of inner city youth. She saw local and sustainable food production as a means to better peoples’ diet and lifestyle.
The UW Farm’s three locations range from an assemblage of small plots nestled among the shiny, towering buildings of Mercer Court to a more typical open farming site at the CUH. At these sites, food is grown for District Market as well as for Cultivate, a restaurant at Elm Hall that aims to provide a fine dining experience for students using local and sustainable ingredients.Though the UW Farm does produce food for sale, its ultimate goal in growing food is to educate the public about the merits of urban agriculture. For those seeking to learn more about sustainable, urban, hyper-local food production or anything in between, the farm serves as a valuable resource.