I love this time of year, not just because I am a Scorpio. But because this is really the last big harvest time and it really is a season of thankfulness culminating in Thanksgiving Day. I get annoyed when people call it Turkey Day, because that is so much what it is not about. I was talking to a fellow gardener in the morning yesterday and I was telling her that I am always feeling grateful and that it must come from being a gardener for so long. We talked about the Free Farm Stand and she likes it because it brings people closer to the source of their food and thus closer to the people who grew it, and closer to the land and earth where it grew, and ultimately closer to the power of creation. That being in touch with that source of everything can’t help us all feel a little bit thankful. That is why we celebrate the harvest. The farm stand is a spiritual celebration perhaps in disguise and a weekly chance to feel thankful (thankful for the food that grows, thankful for the farmers who share their leftover produce with us, thankful for all angels that pop into my life like the volunteers who help run the stand or pot up seedlings to give away, thankful for all the neighbors that come and get food and feed their families healthy food, thankful for those gardeners who share their extra garden bounty with us, thankful for people who bring their stories to share, thankful for friends new and old, thankful for the ability to be kind). And gardening and growing food and flowers gives us gardeners the excuse for being a bit crazy, talking to our plants, praying for rain or a good crop, keeping in touch with the plant fairies, and knowing that we are all blessed. A woman brought some herbs to the stand yesterday and I was admiring her t-shirt. It said ” Radical Transformation”, and it showed graphically the stages of a seed sprouting. That miracle of a seed coming alive is what it all about. I am Mister Thankful!
So yesterday I guess I was feeling kind of heady. I also enjoyed meeting a woman named Grace who had two children Generosity and Clarity. And another appropriate thing happened yesterday. I met Autumn who came by later in the day and played her violin while people picked up produce and bread.
I am getting very little from the gardens right now. I forgot to pick some wax peppers that were in Treat Commons and my backyard will have some mixed greens soon. But the farmers market saved the day again with loads of greens of all kinds (kale, mustard and turnip greens, bok choy, and stir fry mix). I also had a lot of organic celery. A woman who works at Marin Roots came by with a box of the most beautiful organic chard. She said her boyfriend who I met (he was an angel too and had the Om symbol sewed on his funky cool designer shirt) carried the box on his bike that he amazingly rode to the stand .
The chard was nice because Sara had written and printed out out a nice leaflet in Spanish explaining how to grow swiss chard on one side and how to cook it on the other side.
Marcus showed up with a two containers of tomatillos from a garden in a children’s playground in Golden Gate Park (I need to ask him more about the location). He said the kids husked a lot of them and they looked pretty shiny in the sun. I also met his mother and his grandmother, and the mother is a gardener too.
Christy gave me some beautiful garlic that her sister in law grew in Marin and I got some pineapple guavas from a woman who grows them in Noe Valley that works with me at Martin de Porres on Tuesdays. I also got a bag of them from a man named Luke who sells them at the Alemany and Civic Center markets. He came to help at the 18th and Rhode Island garden and I enjoyed working with him a lot. Corrine came by with the only lettuce we had that I think she grew at her plot in White Crane Springs Community Garden. I also had a small amount of the yellow currant tomatoes. I met a woman named Winter who called me who was moving to New York and was looking for someone to take her plants that were on her South of Market roof. I took all the plants and a couple of tomato plants had fruit on them which I harvested.
I picked olives from a neighbors tree with a new helper named Samantha and was lucky they didn’t have the larvae from a olive fly in them. I met another man who went around to a lot of olive tres in the city and they all had larvae in them he said. I gave some away at the stand to people who said they would process them and eventually we will have some cured olives to give away. Our Mediterranean climate is so unique and it was pointed out to me there are only a handful of places in the world where we get this weather. And with the weather comes this season of figs, persimmons, olives, pineapple guava, and pomegranates (I haven’t seen pomegranates growing here though I have rooted one and had another one growing in a pot that hasn’t fruited yet).
We also had a huge amount of bread and at the end of the day I just had some tomatillos left (all the other produce was completely gone and the bread too). On the way home I gave some tomatillos to a woman with two kids who I recognized who was going to put the fruit in her smoothies that she makes. Ok.
Sheryl from church took home the funky apples and made delicious apple sauce which we gave away. I especially love sharing it with the kids.
18th and Rhode Island report
Friday we had the best workday ever! We had fifteen people come by to help us move about thirty yards of chips and a thousand pounds of cardboard. And it is nice we take a break to eat lunch together and we get to know each other. The whole site is now almost finished being sheet mulched and the berms done (we had another workday on Saturday and a lot more of the mulch was moved off of the street where it was dropped…though we didn’t finish). We have canceled the next Friday workday though Saturday starting around 11 we hopefully will be doing something there, maybe planting.