The Seattle P-Patch program for community garden plots began in the early 70s during an economic downturn known locally as the Boeing Bust. Darlyn Rundberg Del Boca, a University of Washington student, saw an opportunity to promote children's gardening with a focus on growing for the local Neighbors in Need food bank program, and with the help of a Seattle Councilmember obtained permission to use part of the Picardo family's truck garden in northeast Seattle with the City of Seattle renting the land for the cost of its real estate taxes. The first garden consisted of a large central garden plot planted by children from the nearby elementary school and their parents; families who volunteered to help were offered smaller individual plots around the perimeter of the central plot. The City subsequently purchased the Picardo farm, and the program of renting individual garden plots arising from the first efforts was named 'P-Patch' in honor of the Picardo family's contribution. The P-Patch program continued to grow and currently consists of 1900 plots in 68 locations with a total of 23 acres (93,000 m2) of land, with additions planned each year, and the tradition of growing for local food banks resulted in 12.3 tons of food donated in 2008. In 2010 the city of Olympia adopted a plan to create up to six community gardens.
Most community gardens in San Francisco are available through its Recreation and Park Department, which manages over 35 community gardens on City property. These are allotment gardens whereby individuals or groups volunteer to be assigned garden plots. Garden members within their respective gardens democratically organize themselves to set bylaws that are consistent with City policy. These gardeners often self-impose garden dues as a membership requirement to cover common expenses. To standardize the development and management of its community gardens, the Recreation and Park Commission adopted its Community Garden Policy in 2006.