Hooray! Free Farm Stand Goes on Without Me

Hot off the computer…Email from Corinne about the Free Farm Stand

I am back from my 12 day trip to Peoria and last night Corinne sent me great photos and an email describing yesterday’s farm stand. I am really happy that everything worked out so great! Here is an excerpt from her email:


today was a terrific day at the farm stand. a woman named brooke came about 1245 and brought a bunch of herbs and veggies. she harvested apricots with two of the children in the first picture. then a woman whose name was-

i think- sigrid. she brought a bunch of vegetables, as well. a woman names liz dropped off some plastic pots.

the two woman in the last pic are sunny and candace. it was there first time to the stand. they took some kale and beets. then candace came back a half hour later with parsley and tomatoes from their garden!

…i picked lots of plums (see pic) at the secret garden.

i tried to keep count of folks who stopped by, 43! i gave away a few cayenne plants, a chamomile (or cosmo?) plant and a basil plant. i gave away everything but a handful of herbs.

i also potted up some chive seedlings. and at home now i have cilantro, basil and chive seedlings to give away in a few weeks as plants.

what else? maria and carolyn stopped by. a couple, matthew and jenny, he said he had a rare plant for you. i thought he intended on leaving it, but then i didn’t see it anywhere. lots of children, yeah!

see you soon!


Here are some photos Corinne sent:

Also, I would love to charm some of those volunteers who showed up to help on planting day, to come help on a regular basis with our free farm stand.

The big pile of apricots was the only mistake made…because of miscommunication they got picked when they were being saved for the Treat Commons Gardeners. A lot of people come into the garden thinking all the food is grown there and that it is for the farm stand. Actually some comes from Treat Commons, but I try to give the gardeners there the first priority since they help grow it. I am still trying to find a lot to start a farm for the farm stand.

And Brooke wrote me also…

“hi tree,
i went to drop of some produce at the farm stand this morning. how great!… i can see how the generosity sparks community.


Report on the planting of the garden in front of City Hall last Saturday

I missed the Victory Garden planting at city hall on Saturday. A friend sent me a link with some good photos of the event and a short review http://lipmagazine.org/ccarlsson/archives/2008/07/strange_loops.html. Sounds like 150 or more people showed up!

I would love to charm some of those people who showed up to help plant the Victory Garden in front of City Hall to come help on a regular basis with the free farm stand. I also wish that there could be more communication between all of us people doing a lot of the same kind of work of promoting local foods. How can we work together and help each other out? I am especially interested in making local food organic food accessible to people without a lot of money.

The Secret Garden Report

I dropped by the Secret Garden after I got back and Robert and Corinne have been doing some great work with all age kids. They have dug some new beds and planted some of the seedlings I gave them. I plan to work there probably on Friday if anyone wants to join me.

Farm skyscrapers

My son sent me this article from the New York Times:

Country, the City Version: Farms in the Sky Gain New Interest


I hope I don’t have to go this route out of desperation for lack of an empty lot to farm in.

Help still needed

Now that I am back it seems I am behind in everything. I can use help planting…I have a lot of seed and now is a good time to plant for fall harvest. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays are best for me right now. Also, if anyone is interested in learning more about growing food in the city, I would love a garden apprentice or intern.

I discover the Patron Saint of Bees

I spent my time in Peoria with a very Catholic family. There is always something to learn from any religion. Here is something from the Magnificat that Angie’s dad saved for me which I thought was very sweet.

February 13th is Saint Modomnoc’s day “As a monk in Wales, Modomnoc was assigned to tend the garden and to keep the bees. When subsequently he departed for his native land, the bees he had tended are said to have followed him onto the boat, settling in a swarm upon the vessel and setting sail with him for Ireland.”
There is a wonderful story here about Saint Modomnoc and it goes into more detail:
I can see celebrating this day right before St. Valentine’s day (not the commercial version of it though). Thinking about bees, I plan to open our hive soon to see how the bees are doing. Contact me if you want to join me as I learn to know the bees.

And talking about Peoria, last week I wrote about lawns and I was wondering to myself how did this lawn thing come about. Here is the answer in the New Yorker just last week.

Berry Gleaning Anyone?

The black berries on Bernal Hill are ripening and I was thinking of checking them out in more detail and possibly picking them if they are ripe enough on Saturday possibly in the morning. Please contact me if you are interested. I will also harvest plums and loquats in the Secret Garden the same day.

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