Welcome to

Vinegar Flats Community Farm

 

Brian Estes

Vinegar Flats Community Farm Program Coordinator

bestes@ccspokane.org

1635 W. 26th, Spokane Washington

About:


Established in 2002, Vinegar Flats Community Farm is a project of Catholic Charities Spokane, overseen by St. Margaret’s Shelter. Vinegar Flats is an urban community garden located on the banks of Latah Creek in the quiet Vinegar Flats neighborhood of Spokane, Washington. The community garden of St. Margaret Shelter, which is emergency housing for 18 women and their children, is not a community garden in the ordinary sense. Vinegar Flats is more of a farm for the shelter residents, a place where they may obtain fresh fruits and vegetables. It is also a space for the women to learn about gardening, gain retail experience, and develop a sense of empowerment. The garden grows vegetables, fruit, flowers, and community. And although this food is reserved, there is still plenty of room for community growth.


Vinegar Flats is a place where everyone can gather to grow produce to sustain the community. It is a place for the community to be outside, meet like-minded people, and make a difference. The garden sells its affordably priced produce at farmers markets and through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program in which participants receive a weekly share of the harvest. We partner with the South Perry Farmer’s Market to manage a program allowing food stamps to be used at market. Through the CSA program Vinegar Flats collaborates with multiple community organizations, supporting those otherwise lacking resources to obtain fresh produce. Produce is made available to St. Margaret’s residents through regular community meals and via work trades at the garden and farmers market.


The 12,000 sq. foot garden, located on heritage farmland 5 minutes from downtown Spokane, serves not only as the grounding force for the community outreach initiatives of the program, but as a tool for food production and a teaching implement encouraging food security and social empowerment in the community. Maintained and managed by volunteers, community members contributed over 1820 hours of labor in 2010, while charitable community members donated the land. The garden space allows for interactions and shared labor for community members of all social and economic backgrounds.