Groundhog Day

“The sun has peaked, my shadow I see, six more weeks of winter it will be. According to folklore, if a groundhog sees his shadow on Groundhog Day — Feb. 2, he’ll go back to his burrow, predicting six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, there will be an early spring” (from

I was telling people at the Free Farm Stand that today is an important holiday, especially for urban farmers and lovers. Are we going to have more winter or not or romance and spring fever? Of course here in San Francisco the weather has been sunny and it already seems like spring.

The good weather seems to bring out the crowds and from the get go we had a lot of people. We ran out of food about an hour or so later and by 2:30pm we were ready to close up shop. I want to say that I have really appreciated all the help I have been getting. I love the students that come and help out like Caleb and Thy. It was especially nice that Thy is back with us. She was away during her school break. I feel so lucky to have helpers like the both of them with such beautiful spirits and tremendous energy.

The Free Farm Stand table this week was filled with cool weather growing salad mix, greens (mostly bok choy and broccoli raab) and leeks from the Noe Valley Farmers market. Last Tuesday the Jamestown kids and I harvested the last of the salad mix from the Secret Garden and gave it to them to use for their cooking program, so there wasn’t much to harvest there. I did harvest a lot of arugula and lettuce mix from my backyard and some from Treat Commons. Also, I picked some broccoli side shoots and lettuce mix and some small volunteer potatoes from Treat Commons. We also had a bucket of lemons from the Santa Rosa area that a friend picked and brought down here while visiting the city. Later in the day some people from Potrero Hill brought some lemons from their garden to share.

We got more loaves of bread than we have been from Acme, but we are still getting a lot of sweets and rolls with cheese. I don’t know if anyone that comes to the stand at this point understands that I am trying to run a vegan farm stand (or beegan because I do give away honey from our backyard hive). I have been a vegan for over 20 years and all the food programs I have run have been vegan with an emphasis on serving or distributing healthy and organic as much as possible, non-animal based food. I still believe in the ideas in books like “Diet for a Small Planet” or “Diet for a New America”. One of the points of the Free Farm Stand is to promote eating healthy with an emphasis on fresh local organic produce that we can grow ourselves. The free organic bread just showed up one day My point is that I feel like I have been too laid back recently in giving away these buttery sweets and rolls with cheese that are neither vegan nor necessarily healthy, so I am going to try to not to get them in the future.

February is the month to plant seeds indoors and I have been reading seed catalogs and ordering seed. I am especially interested in planting potatoes in towers and have been planning out how to do it. I hope to start planting seed this week, maybe this Thursday. And as soon as we have potatoes ready to plant I want to plant potatoes with the kids from Jamestown Center.

Friday work days are still happening at 18th and Rhode Island. I took photos of the green berms last week and the site looks good with all the fava beans growing. The lettuce and chard is barely growing, maybe it is because we need the berms to break down into soil before things will grow well. The fruit trees have buds that are swelling. Not many people showed up to help this past week and I think it is because it seems like there isn’t much to do right now or we are not communicating what the plans are each week. One thing I am planning to do Friday is build some potato towers and maybe plant some of them. We may also have other planting we can do and there is grunt work to do with what I call the ivy hill.

2 Replies to “Groundhog Day

  1. Hi Tree,

    Thanks for the update. I was at the Rhode Island and 18th a few weeks ago, and I guess I missed what was going on this last weekend.

  2. Hi Tree,Thanks for the update. I was at the Rhode Island and 18th a few weeks ago, and I guess I missed what was going on this last weekend.

Leave a Reply