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The Picardo Venus; University Prep is in the background.

Close-up of the Venus.

Picardo Farm is a 98,000 sq. ft. parcel of property in Wedgwood, consisting largely of 281 plots used for gardening allotments. It is the original P-Patch (Seattle's system of community gardens): the "P" originally stood for "Picardo", after the family who owned it. The Picardos' land went beyond the present P-Patch; it also encompassed the property of the adjacent Reform Jewish Temple Beth Am and of University Prep, an independent private co-educational, non-sectarian day school for grades six through twelve.

The Picardo family farmed 20 acres at 25th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 80th Street from the 1920s to about 1962 or '63. Rainie Picardo leased out plots for a few more years, and then the city bought the land.

It is one of two historical farms preserved within Seattle city limits, the other being Marra Farm in South Park. The city's official web site describes Picardo Farm as having "Seattle's best soil… Rich, black, peaty, sucking with moisture in the spring, powdery dry for digging potatoes…"

The soil isn't the only thing that has put Picardo Farm on the map: it is also known for a statue installed there, Steve Anderson's 2 1/4-foot-high bronze statue known as the Picardo Venus: "Pregnant, naked, hair in dreadlocks and sporting a sparkling nose stud". Sitting next to a children's play area, the statue was originally quite controversial. One P-Patch gardener remarked of it, "She’s glorifying fertility a little too much for kids, isn’t she?" Nonetheless, a January 2000 poll of the Picardo gardeners resulted in a decision to keep the statue.


This is based closely on the Wikipedia article Picardo Farm (with different illustrations). The SeattleWiki version is based on the Wikipedia version of December 25, 2006. As the sole substantive author of that Wikipedia article, Joe Mabel gives SeattleWiki re-use / re-licensing permission.

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