Gardens and Farm Stands Full of Surprises

I was expecting rain and I actually thought I would have few people coming by the stand. As it turned out the weather was actually pretty nice most of the day and we did have a crowd. It was the perfect day in fact and exactly what I dreamed the farm stand could be like.

First of all, I had no produce from the farmer’s market. I was told few farmer’s showed up because of the rain Saturday. All I had was a small amount of produce that I picked from the Secret Garden and Treat Commons. My home backyard is pretty shady now and I am not expecting much from there right now, maybe some greens eventually.

A new volunteer Stephanie came by Saturday and on the way to Treat Commons we found 3 big perfect pumpkins in on the sidewalk. At Treat Commons we picked some kale and a few snap peas. I also pulled up a couple of daikon radish that looked twisted and deformed. Then we went to the Secret Garden and picked arugula, Swiss chard, some zucchini, and kale. I love a variety of yellow zucchini I grow it even though it is a hybrid (called Sebring from Johnny’s). It is so productive! I also like a variety of Swiss chard that Territorial Seed sells called Perpetual Swiss Chard. Chard doesn’t grow well here in the summer because of the pesky leaf miner (the larvae of a fly), but growing it now between about October and March it doesn’t get leaf damage. This variety doesn’t seem to bolt and just keeps growing and producing more and more leaves after you start harvesting.

I knew Sunday morning that I didn’t have a lot of produce to give away, but I just said to myself that is ok, it is becoming winter and food production will just have to slow down. When I got home from working at the soup kitchen in the morning there were three beautiful “Eight Ball” zucchinis at my front door. It was left I am sure by José who with Minda has been bringing me small amounts of surplus cucumbers and zucchini from their plot at Potrero de Sol Community Garden. It is great to know someone by the vegetables they grow. Like knowing José the Farmer, he’s the guy who grows those great cucumbers and zucchinis. When I got to the garden to set up the stand hanging on the fence was a bag of produce from Ellen with a sweet note inside saying she couldn’t make it today, but wanted to share some stuff. And Pam had written me and asked if we could use some apples and said she would try to drop some off. There was a lot of apples and pears and a big tub of mums (I am not sure who brought those). And also a big pile of scarlet runner beans I think from the Treat Commons.

I have been getting a lot of help these days from students at San Francisco State who are all taking a holistic health class. They have been showing up and helping me set up and run the stand which has been great. We had a pretty full table considering it was all from San Francisco local sources.

Some other big surprises. We got fourteen bags of bread this week.

It started out Jamie was hauling the rescued bread from her job home on Bart which sort of limited her on how much she could get. She and her boyfriend Mark both decided to get rid of their cars at some point and use public transportation most of the time. Then somehow Mark got his parents in the act and I met them on Sunday when they pulled up with this car full of bread. Amazingly I gave away most of it, I have about three bags left, which will go to Food Not Bombs or Martin de Porres.

Another wonderful surprise is that Marcus showed up with fruit from his Visitacion Valley backyard. I met him at the really really free market last week and he said he would bring some fruit by sometime. So this Sunday he came by and he showed me these small dark purple figs he harvested.

I tasted one and they were sweet and flavorful. Then he started pulling out peaches!

They were also very tasty and I was blown away by peaches growing in November. The story he told me about his house was also interesting. He thinks it is one of the oldest houses in the city and was on one of the last farms in the city too. The city took it over by eminent domain and divided it up and developed it. The property on which he lives still has the trees left from that farm. How sad in a way that cities by nature don’t have farms and yet wonderful that the trees that farmers planted here have survived to feed us today.

Jenny also showed up with a basket of basil that she and Dan harvested from Treat Commons.

Update on 18th and Rhode Island

On Friday we had another great workday and finished building one berm. I have also gotten some soil and as soon as we get some compost to mix in with it I think we can begin planting. I assume we may talk about this more at the next permaculture guild meeting on Wednesday night.

I like this photo of the berm

Our crew missing Dave who left after a few hours of hard labor

A finished berm

Covering up the cardboard with wood chips

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