This week I had no left over produce from the Farmer’s Market and all I had to give away was the little amount of harvest I was able to pick out of three gardens right now that are within a block of the stand.. I think next week will be the same. A little bit of arugula, some salad mix, some Speckles butterhead lettuces, a few cape gooseberry fruits, a few chili peppers, a handful of greens, and a couple of Florence fennel or finocchio bulbs. Later in the day Jose and Minda came by with a couple of nice daikon roots from Potrero de Sol garden. I also gave away more honey and olives, and we shelled walnuts from our tree and gave them out.. There wasn’t much bread either, mostly a big basket of raisin rolls.
I must admit besides arugula I am pretty impressed with growing broccoli plants this year, because of their ability to keep sending out side shoots (though our few plants are about dead). Also, yesterday Max came by after the farm stand was over carrying a big bunch of tree collard greens he harvested from the All in Common Garden that he was taking to the friary where he lives. I am growing some tree collards right now that I just started this year and they are all growing rather slowly (being in pretty much shade). My oldest plant in my backyard doesn’t have many leaves and it wouldn’t be worth harvesting. I should plant a bunch of them in the permaculture garden where they get more sun.
I have heard a story from a friend about seeing an abandoned house in the Capay Valley near Davis that had orange trees on the property and another house that wasn’t abandoned that seemed to have a tree loaded with oranges that wasn’t getting picked. I wonder if it would be worth driving east to check out gleaning oranges there.
Though there wasn’t a lot of produce, it was a beautiful somewhat sunny winter day and there were quite a number of people who showed up. There might have been more talk than food. Sara Miles came by who is involved with Saint Gregory’s Church on Potrero Hill near the 18th and Rhode Island garden. We talked about a plan that is being discussed to get a lot of Episcopal Churches to grow food for their food pantries. I am very excited about this and the possibility of working with them somehow. I think that the churches that are interested in growing food need to be visited and see what would be appropriate for their space. I told Sara that I think the Churches should be planting fruit trees if they have the space and grow them small and closely planted. She also wants to contact people in the churches to see if they have fruit trees in their backyards that could use picking ad make a database of trees that could be gleaned. Caleb a wonderful volunteer who was helping out at the table talked to her also and is interested in setting up a gleaning project in the city. I think Sara is going to coordinate a meeting of people that may be interested in this project.
I also enjoyed talking to some of our other local neighbors. It was great having Sara around who could talk in Spanish to people and I was able to somewhat follow the conversations. One guy was talking about his father who sounded like he had a great garden. He was talking about a tree that his father grows that had a fruit he didn’t know the name for in English. He called it Nispero and I figured out it was loquat. Here is a link to a youtube video of a loquat fruit unpeeling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-r0dpWBFXg. I also heard a lot of stories from another man whose son helped us shell walnuts, about grwoing food in El Salvador. The man seemed to be really hip about growing food organically and using natural remedies and herbs for medicine. He said that now the young people there don’t want to be farmers though and he said there were a lot of empty fields.
Last Friday we had a well attended 18th and Rhode Island work day. I brought more seedlings and we planted them all around (the other seedlings are growing though very slowly). The fava beans are coming up and also the clover has sprouted. The garlic too is growing. The crew of four or five people pulled ivy up with the goal of seeing where we are going to plant our avocado grove and as a first step towards mulching the area.
Like I probably said before, I ordered trees and I just spoke to Jim in Southern California who is generously picking them up (plus making the rounds to some other nurseries to get some more hard to get plants and trees). Tentatively we are planing a tree planting on Saturday January 10th which will be partly a hands on workshop.