After attending the SFRefresh “Stargazing” workshop lead by Pancho my head has been in a cloud. I have been thinking humans can only be overwhelmed and amazed by the beauty and wonderment of this universe (perhaps animals or plants or even rocks might sense that feeling too). I also realized how much mystery there is in everything, leaving us basically not knowing. Though the science is there explaining so much, it leaves us still forever asking questions.

Then there is a feeling I got of how small we are in the big picture of things. Seeing that here are billions and billions of stars and planets out there and that our planet is just one out of billions and billions (we probably will never know how many).  Certainly our conflicts and worries or joys and excitements seem so very insignificant when we think we are smaller than a grain of sand in an immense expanding universe.

Wow it makes it hard writing or saying anything after going through that head trip. Then I think: Zillions and zillions of blessings out there, we can’t count them all.

The Free Farm Stand was heavy on good vibes Sunday. Stanford students from Page’s Earth System History class came by to help and also brought 194 pounds of oranges they picked from trees on campus.  There were plenty of greens on the table as well and the bread table, though short on bread, had a great selection of spreads to put on bread, including tofu pate, hummus, and citrus jam.

The local urban agriculture movement is currently excited that the Board of Supervisors voted last week to amend our zoning law to allow people to grow produce and sell it on residential land (on a small scale). For $300 one can get a permit and to grow food and sell it and also to make jams and salsa and sell them too. Little City Farms (http://www.littlecitygardens.com/), run by Brooke and Caitlyn, two of the best urban farmers out there, announced they are starting a CSA based on a week to week basis and on a sliding scale model. If one has to buy vegetables this may be the way to go.

I must admit I feel like in I am in the minority of urban farmers who believe that as beautiful as friendly capitalism seems from one angle, I think in the long run it is the wrong direction we should be going.  Here is one example of a project that I think is a better model to follow: http://www.alpinegarden.blogspot.com/.

Let’s rocket to the stars and other galaxies and spiral forward. Our dreams will propel us! Let us create a world now where our Earth’s resources are shared equally with all.

Michael Pistorio posted a cool video of the Free Farm Stand on Youtube (check our sidebar under Videos….).  No words just a short video record of a the Free Farm Stand with jazzy music by Jimmy Smith.

Save the date for our fruit tree planting on Mother’s Day Sunday May 8th from 11am until about 4pm. This could be the beginning of more Community Orchards planted in city parks.


On Saturday I played hooky from the Free Farm workday and went to a talk by Kate Frey  who  designed Melissa Garden Bee Sanctuary in Healdsburg http://www.themelissagarden.com/. She talked about creating a garden that pays attention to attracting pollinators of all kinds and reconciliation ecology, something new to me. This is the idea of transforming the places we humans use so they support not only us but other species as well. Making room for more bio-diversity in ”human-dominated landscapes”.

Since that talk I have started paying more attention to the habitats around me. Starting with the Free Farm Stand, I see all who hover around the park as pollinators in their own ways. Like the honey bees we carry around our own baskets that hold the pollen of joys, concerns, dreams, visions, etc.  We are constantly pollinating those around us.  Three young pollinators came to my backyard garden before we started setting up the stand, and they harvested some chard, wild onions, and carrots. Then they brought the produce in bags and pulled a wagon to the park that had two fruit trees that will be planted later next month. They weighed the produce and then helped hand it out. Other pollinators brought produce from their backyards, including lemons and greens.

Let’s be pollinators of love and good deeds. Let’s fertilize the world with joy, care, and compassion for our neighbors and those under-served in our society.

At the talk I bought a lot of pollinator plants to grow at the Free Farm. I was also thinking about the scene there. We tell people we are not only growing food to give away, but that our farm is a sacred space, a worship space without walls.  The Free Farm congregation is not only the wonderful volunteers who make it all happen; the congregation is made up of soil micro-organisms and the insects and birds that fly around and contribute in their way to the life on that landscape. The choir is the sound of life itself in the air, of bees and flies buzzing and the birds singing, competing with the anti-life sounds of car traffic. I am excited about the possibility of helping to create the structure of a “habitat garden” at our Free Farm that will support more life in that urban space.

I just uploaded a video from YouTube which is about a pantry I ran for years (look in the video, etc. section on the sidebar). The first part of the video which shows how I got the food is missing.  It gives an idea of what I was doing before I started the Free Farm Stand and how we have evolved. My worry is that we are becoming a little more like that when I closed it when it got out of hand.

I also put up an audio story about the Free Farm Stand and Stanford Glean.  I edited the original program and you can hear it all here: http://www.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season3.html. The interviews took place last year when we first started the Free Farm in January of 2010. I especially liked the interview with Page at the end of the story about Stanford Glean. He is so much more succinct than me.

I am looking for someone to train in planting a habitat garden at the Free Farm. Come learn with me.

Also, I am looking for someone with a vehicle to pick up bread on Saturday night April 30th from Acme Bread and take it to the Stand the next day. I will be out of town.

Finally, next Saturday April 16th is SF Refresh (http://sfrefresh.blogspot.com/) and you can check out all the great activities and times happening at different farms and gardens in the city,  three are near each other. Activities include: gardening classes, yoga, life coaching, meditation, trauma care, nutrition classes, massage, acupuncture, tea and coffee cuppings, movement classes, preventative health care information and more.