Spirit and Fresh Vegetables

I have been thinking a lot this past week of matters spiritual in nature and how that intersects with the work I am doing with the Free Farm Stand and the Free Farm. I have actually become a little restless with the local food growing craze in the city and personally feel a need to explore other issues. Specifically I think that now that the spotlight is focused so intensely on global warming,  lowering our carbon foot print, making cities more green and sustainable, paying more attention to where our food comes from and our diets. I want to spend some time dreaming about what is next on our agenda. Not that I want to retire as an urban farmer (now that I have proven to myself that I can grow a lot of produce in the city and that I can grow beautiful crops of cabbages or lettuce).  Perhaps it is because this last week I have been going to more than my share of religious ceremonies (two Christian ceremonies and one Jewish ceremony), and just finished reading Jesus Freak, that I have been questioning my only spiritual path and seeking. I look forward to exploring the idea of adding another dimension to our farm and putting some effort into highlighting its inherent sacred nature. Making it more of a place of worship and inner traveling, making the farm truly a sanctuary without walls (though we may build a combination greenhouse/ worship/prayer/meditation/yoga/healing space). I think there are many people like me who have been alienated from institutional religions, but have the need to gather in community and not only engage in the holy working of farming and growing food and flowers, but want to share the divine with friends and family in different ways and with a variety of ceremonies.  To repair this world this spiritual work on our own souls seems imperative.

I sense the Free Farm Stand is a kind of spiritual ceremony and has a community of people who attend every Sunday. It seems like a joyous event that everyone gets into. This week we had mostly produce from the Free Farm (we picked about 84lbs of lettuce and greens and about 20lbs went to the farm stand at the farm). I did pick some garlic from the Permaculture Guild garden but I decided to let it dry before giving it out. A couple of neighbors came by with extra fava beans,  one neighbor brought a bag of very beautiful Meyer lemons, Pam came by with an assortment of things including lettuce and a bouquet of edible flowers. One woman dropped off some homemade hummus and a big jar of double fermented kombucha drink. We sort of run low on produce after an hour because of the line of people trailing down the block. Now, like I mentioned last week, a friend (and this time with her three sisters accompanying her) came by around 2pm with a truck load of leftover organic produce from the Stonestown Mall farmer’s market (which is about 25 farmers from Marin). She also picked up produce up from Trader Joe’s which I felt like I should take, including things that I think are far from local or organic or fresh.  So it seemed crazy to have all these packages of challenged green beans in plastic and Styrofoam sitting near fresh organic green beans from the market. At the end of the day though, everything was given away. Two other things happened at the stand that made me happy A friend named Jen came by and set up a table and  talked to people about getting a free soil test in their garden (she got a grant to test 100  gardens in several neighborhoods). also Antonio came by and talked to a handful of folks about gardening, mostly answering garden questionsThe Free Farm keeps evolving. Last week we seemed to have slightly smaller numbers of volunteers though we have been getting a lot done. We are still working on infrastructure, planting, harvesting, and working on special projects like building a house for the composting toilet (see our calendar for the June 19th free workshop on building a composting toilet at the Free Farm). We are also trying to finish up the labyrinth and this Wednesday we will have twelve more volunteers from the Metta Center in Berkeley. We are getting a 20 yard load of compost and can use all hands to move the stuff. We are also still tinkering with setting up a small table with vegetables on it to give to people in the neighborhood and to volunteers. Last week we gave out about 20lbs of greens and lettuce. Last Sunday was the first week that Temple Emanu-El opened the farm for two hours and they got 14 volunteers. They plan to be there the first Sunday of the month (though they are skipping July 4th).

Here is our new bulletin board that Page built and Case is standing in front of.We could really use some free paint, like primary colors that are bright

Also check out our calendar for the HomoHomestead Bike Tour including the Free Farm this Sunday at 3:30pm. They say they are planning on getting their hands dirty  so it should be a fun way to start a bike tour.

And here is a last minute news item. Check out the latest post by Case on our Free Farm website: http://tinyurl.com/24yscg5. I think it is really wonderful and is a great plug for Free.

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