Weighing In

Cherry tomatoes, one trombone squash, a lot of lettuce, a few collards, some broccoli, and some zucchini is what was on the hecka local table all from the Free Farm. Also, I picked 3 pounds of rocoto pepper from Treat Commons that were so beautiful (I myself find the peppers too hot). Neighbors brought oranges, rosemary, and lemons. Mike returned from Burning Man and brought some jam he made from blackberries he picked in Golden Gate Park. Someone else brought some apple sauce from that huge amount of apples last week. Our crowds remain big and it is kind of crazy that we get two shipments of food… so some people line up again to get some of the bounty that comes in around 2:30pm.

Rocoto Peppers and cherry tomatoes

I just updated our spreadsheet with the totals of how much hecka local produce since 2009 and we are up to 11,738 pounds.  Since this April the Free Farm has grown 1,750 pounds, almost a ton of food. Sometimes I wonder what my fixation is with weighing everything we grow or glean or that people bring us to share. Someone new that came by with produce to share yesterday actually asked me why I weigh things. For one thing I think I am the only one documenting this kind of information in San Francisco. I guess I am doing it mostly out of curiosity, kind of like why I got into trying to be a farmer. I just wanted to see how much food I could grow and give away in San Francisco.

I am not really a produce quantity queen.  I think what turns me on is the people that come and can get some great food . I like it even more when people who show up with some food they have grown too or picked from their backyard tree to share. I think we really need to put up a sign explaining what we are about, because we have so many new people who think the stand is just about giving away produce, and don’t understand that we are also promoting do it yourself gardening efforts.

By the way talk about food giveaways, from reading the Facebook entry for the Wigg Party, it seems that their food giveaway are still happening, after they took a break one week. It happens between 3-5pm on Sundays at Hayes Valley Farm. If anyone goes I would love a report.

I received some feedback on the words I wrote last week about the 18th and Rhode Island Permaculture Garden.  I really appreciated Chris Burley’s comment that he published which makes a lot of good points about Permaculture and the importance of soil building. I have to disagree though, I think that the long term strategy of growing soil and a food forest is not in conflict with growing a lot of food in the meantime that can be distributed to people in need.  One positive thing that came out of last week’s blog is that Ian read it and went to visit the garden for himself (he was originally involved in the initial work there). I didn’t make it to the garden this week because I was finishing the grant proposal, so Ian harvested 3 ½ pounds of cherry tomatoes and a few zucchini and brought them to the stand.

I finished sending in a proposal for a grant from the San Francisco Park’s Trust to plant fruit trees in the park where the Farm Stand is. Soon I think there will be a community meeting where neighbors and park users can vet their feelings about this project and I am hoping I can get a lot of people out to the meeting to show their support. I think the main issue needing addressing is do we really need a fence around the area (a lot of people especially parents want to keep the area open for kids to run around in that area and most of us do not like fences). Park and Recreation wants the orchard to be under the control of the community garden adjacent to the area so the gardeners will maintain the trees not the under budgeted park staff. I think they want some kind of fence or way of making it seem part of the garden. So there might have to be some compromise, like a small fence with a gate that is always open. I will let everyone know when the meeting happens.

Also, check this out:
Saturday, September 18th, 2010
Feel the Earth presents
A dance performance embodying the Iroquois Legend of
Las Tres Hermanas: Corn, Bean, and Squash.
A look at how nature and human move in symbiosis with one another.
Two Free Dance Performances:
The Free Farm
Gough and Eddy
@ 3:30pm
Esperanza Gardens
Florida St and 19th St
@ 5:30pm
“Let nature be the power that propels art, spirit, and creativity”’

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