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You are here: Home ›› Press ›› Press Clips ›› Seattle’s Urban Farms: Goats Included -- An inside look at some of the area's best urban farming

Seattle’s Urban Farms: Goats Included -- An inside look at some of the area's best urban farming

By Chason Gordon
Seattle Weekly

Read about urban farms visited during our Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour in August.

Seattle’s Urban Farms: Goats Included -- An inside look at some of the area's best urban farming

Chickens and chicks roosting at Yellowood Farm. Photo by Cayce Cheairs

From the street, you can’t really tell how much is going on in the backyards of these homes. In place of tightly kept lawns are elaborate urban farms, ripe with goats and chickens and enough fruits and vegetables to supply a produce aisle.

“I always wanted to have a farm,” says Joan Engelmeyer, whose City Art Farm in southeast Seattle is a flurry of activity with gardens, animals, and after-school programs for kids. “When I walk in my neighborhood, it’s as if it’s not really in Seattle. There’s no sidewalk, and it has that gravelly feel. So I started pretending that I lived in the country.”

City Art Farm was among the more than 20 urban farms to take part recently in Seattle Tilth’s 2014 Chicken Coop and Urban Farm Tour, highlighting some of the best in the city. There are hundreds of urban farms all over Seattle. In addition to chickens and goats, many house ducks, rabbits, honeybees, mason bees, aquaponics, and edible gardens, which are much healthier than the edible gardens in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

At Feathered Fish Farm in Ballard, run by Amanda Cohn and Koji Yugawa, the aquaponic garden is a Rube Goldberg machine of sustainability. After the fish are fed and poop, the water is pumped through grow beds which act as a biofilter, ultimately feeding the plants and resupplying the fish with clean water.

“It’s a lot of work to get it started,” says Cohn, “but once it’s started, the idea of being able to grow so much with so little work was really appealing. No more weeding, no fertilizing, and no watering.”

Like many urban farms, Feathered Fish Farm started with chickens. “They’re kind of called the ‘gateway drug’ to urban farming,” says Cohn. I ask why her chickens are named after Shakespearean women. “Because I think Shakespearean women are kind of chicken,” she says. “You know, ‘Save me,’ and all that.”

 

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