The beautiful city of Seattle has a secret they are keeping from all of us. It’s called sunshine. And plenty of it. OK, maybe that’s an overstatement, but I definitely had no trouble catching a few rays last week for Alleycat Acres’ second annual Streets and Beets Bike Ride.
ONE joined forces with this innovative urban farm collective as part of our ongoing efforts to engage farmers and foodies to raise awareness of the power of agriculture to pull millions of people out of poverty in Africa.
Given that Alleycat Acres has only been around for two years, they’ve managed to accomplish big things -– and they have such lofty goals to boot. The all-volunteer team behind the organization works with land owners within Seattle to convert unused space into community run-farms in an effort to connect people, produce and place.
Guided by the philosophy of Ubantu -– which roughly translates to “I am because you are” –- Alleycat sees inequalities in the food system as a global issue, affecting everyone from their counterparts in Africa to their fellow Seattleites.
To learn a little bit more about the team, here’s a great video GOOD put together during a crop mobbing event at their Beacon Hill farm last year:
I joined head farmer and Alleycat founder Sean Conroe and around 50 of our closest friends for a 70-mile ride from Seattle to Auburn, Wash., where we had an opportunity to visit Seattle Tilth Farm Works. This farm incubator program, only in its second year, works with refugee families to equip them with the necessary agriculture skills and business savvy to earn a living as a farmer in the Pacific Northwest.
The event was a huge success, raising more than $15,000 for Alleycat Acres, which is coincidentally opening its third farm location in Seattle this weekend. We even had a visit from Seattle’s bike-enthusiast Mayor, Mike McGinn, who sent the bikers off in style. And we can’t forget our fearless ONE Campus Chapter from the University of Washington, who helped us to pull off an incredible lunch at the farm. The top two fundraisers -– each bringing in more than $1,000 a pop –- will be coming to DC in May to visit the ONE HQ and meet with a handful of local agriculture groups doing some pretty cool things right here in the nation’s capital.
Live in the Seattle area and want to get involved? Connect with Alleycat Acres on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news on volunteer days and activities. Or you can visit their website for more information. They’re a loveable, active group, I highly recommend getting your hands dirty with them!
This is just the beginning of ONE’s engagement with the local food movement, so stay tuned. Do you have any ideas for how ONE members can start engaging farmers and foodies in your town? Tell us in the comments below: