Sunday morning as I was packing the van full with vegetables both that we grew (about 8 boxes) and those that we collected from the Farmer’s markets, I started thinking that maybe I should be growing cut flowers to give away. Maybe I was exhausted from hauling vegetables around the last two days. The sustainable food movement has hit town and it is a big thing now. Certainly hunger and food insecurity is our most important priority and those issues can be approached in a holistic way. Educating people about the links between health and diet and making good choices in what we eat, promoting and fostering local food production as much as possible, and building community and supporting the movement of people getting away from the buying and selling and the private property culture and moving towards a gift giving and sharing (aka free) society.
But we need more local grown flowers in our lives. We need the colors and the aroma of flowers in our home, on our tables, in our shelters, soup kitchens, and sacred spaces. Supporting sustainability of our smiles. Food for the soul. I was imagining what it would be like to show up at the Free Farm Stand with van full of hecka locally grown cut flowers to give away. The bees would love them too. And we can teach kids and adults flower arranging. At a MAPP event last Saturday at Treat Commons it seems the kids that attended are already skilled at that art and made there own flower arrangements.
Last week I began working with Jacob an intern or Mentee from the Metta Center for non-violence in Berkeley. He will be working with the Free Farm and the Free Farm Stand until August. On Wednesday Jacob came with about 12 other Mentees to help us on the farm. Fortunately we had plenty of work to do and I think all of us got really dirty. With 12 extra hands plus our regular helpers, we got so much done! A large pumpkin bed was created and planted, 20 cubic yards of compost was moved, and a lot of rubble was moved too. My friend Craig who runs a vegan taco truck business at Dolores Park took a number of hours off from his business to come to the Free Farm to feed us all. He got a donation of vegan cheese from Follow Your Heart and made grilled cheese sandwiches which were a big hit! On Saturday we had a wonderful and hot workday. We harvested 62.5lbs of produce and gave away some there (about 10-20lbs). Also, Christy brought some surplus vegetables from her garden (in the spirit of the Free Farm Stand).
The Free Farm Stand was another beautiful event. We had a lot of local grown produce and a number of neighbors and others brought surplus produce from their gardens. Talking about flowers, Pam brought by a bouquet of edible flowers from her garden and they looked fabulous. The flowers were a great addition to the lettuce she brought. Around 2pm or so another truck full of produce arrived from the farmer’s market behind the Stonestown Mall. We got everyone that was there to line up while we put the new produce on the table. It was really amazing all the wonderful fresh fruit we had including red raspberries, strawberries, cherries, and apricots. We also had an abundant plant table with many seedlings and mature plants to give away.