Here are more pictures from last weeks stand:
The main thing that sticks out in my mind about the Free Farm Stand was the long line that formed now extending out the gate and down the sidewalk. I think we ran out of food early, certainly before 3pm. The super local table was full and we did extend its size because it we had a lot of produce. Zucchini and squash ruled the day. Page brought a large collection that he had grown and we had a lot of volunteer squash from 18th and Rhode Island (and zucchini too). I picked a neighbors apple and lemon tree and Produce to the People brought apples. . Nanda brought lemons and zucchini I think surplus from a community garden in San Jose. Someone brought some nice jam from the Secret Garden plums that we served on the bread table (more will be given out next week). Ray brought more ice tea. I continue to pick up a lot of donated food every week, including having a great connection with Green Gulch Farm, run by the Zen Center, where I have been getting flats of starts and some surplus produce. This weeks total super local produce was 174lbs.
The Garden table is going pretty well and every week people are taking home seedlings. We tried something else, which was Page’s idea, is that we gave away our first “instant salad garden”. A large pot with two lettuces and an arugula plant in it. So all one has to do it take it home, put it somewhere with at least a little sun, and let it grow until harvest time. Also, I am excited that I am finding people to help manage the different gardens growing food for the stand. If anyone wants to garden there is plenty to do. The slide shows have more pictures of the gardens which I hope inspires people who want to get their hands in dirt and grow food to share with neighbors in need.
I continue to hope that the Free Farm Stand can play a significant role in encouraging local food growing and sharing the surplus and wealth of our urban gardens and farms. That we are not just known as a place to get free produce, though I think that is always nice, but a place to share the surplus bounty. I heard the other day that Mayor Newsom contacted three groups to come up with a plan for farming the vacant land at Laguna between Oak and Fell Streets where the freeway was torn down. The groups he contacted were the Permaculture Guild, John Bela with Rebar Group (he/they helped organize the Victory Garden in front of City Hall and is now working on the setting up a Homeless Connect Garden), and My Farm. I am not on the radar of the city hall folks, and I have a lot of ideas about this project, but I think this is the most exciting news I have heard recently. I think a plan has been submitted already and we will see what develops. This is a big piece of land and could grow a lot of food to feed hungry people in the city. I hope it goes in that direction, like the victory Garden at Civic Center last year that grew food for poor people. I put in a vote for a large fruit orchard and food given away to food pantries and free farm stands in different neighborhoods.
I am still trying to move forward with the project of basically expanding our community garden in the park and planting more fruit trees. I am slowing exploring raising funds to put a chain link fence around the area and possibly adding a greenhouse too. As you might know, I am totally excited right now of planting more fruit trees wherever we can in the city.