Spring Dreaming

The Hecka Local table looked pretty good at the Free Farm Stand yesterday. Yacón root,, lettuce, chard, and kale from the Free Farm, more sunchokes from Berkeley, Haas avocados from Kali Garden (almost across the street from the stand), fava bean leaves from 18th and Rhode Island, greens from the Secret Garden, including the most beautiful tree collards with purple stripping on the leaves, San Francisco oranges picked by Produce to the People, and oranges from Stanford Glean.  We also had a lot of  left-over produce from the Ferry Building farmer’s market and Noe Valley Farmer’s market, considering it is supposedly  winter time. Despite all the produce we ran out around 1:30pm! More left over farmer’s market produce showed up at around 2:30pm.

I am on the Feeling Grateful bandwagon again, though I don’t think I ever hopped off. I am so grateful for the lovely rain we had, precious water that quenched the thirst of our plants, like the bamboo and lemon tree we just transplanted at the Free Farm on Saturday. Then it was a miracle that the sky mostly cleared up for the Free Farm Stand. I am feeling grateful for all the beautiful volunteers we have that make the stand something special.

Mike's yummy and popular homemade hummus
Yacón root..the root you divide for propagation
Yacón root...the root for eating
Yacón root...sliced for tasting raw
Garden Anchor Kim and her friend from with Secreet Garden Bounty
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden

 I did bring sprouting potatoes for planting to the stand but only a few people took them.

Potatoes can be grown almost anywhere outside where there is sunlight for part of the day. At the farm we have three methods of growing them demonstrated. I know not everyone wants to be a gardener or farmer, but it is a fun and  valuable life lesson to grow some of your own food and to be connected to that mysterious and pretty amazing growing power

I am also feeling grateful for the fact that we got the plastic covering one of our newly built greenhouses and it is looking likely that we can start growing more seedlings soon. It is fun to have a dream and run with it and to see it becoming it’s own thing over time.  This dream of sort of opening a free nursery is getting ready for takeoff, though I am convinced I don’t really know what I am doing. I am just taking one step at a time. Please check out our sister blog http://thefreefarm.org/ for lots of fabulous photos from down on the farm. These days thanks to the Getup grads who are interning with us now, the blog is being updated weekly and they are doing an excellent job

For people that do want to get more into the dirt and garden air there are places to do that all over the city.

 The Esperanza garden for example, on Florida and 19th Sts. is looking for a garden anchor, someone to open the garden at least once a week and keep it watered and weeded.  I will train anyone that would like to take over that responsibility and help grow food to give away at the stand or other possible places. Community gardens like these are the way of the future, places where neighbors can garden together (not in separate plots) and share their surplus with other neighbors in need.

Vanessa one of our beautiful volunteers

On Thursday  February 17 at 1pm in City Hall room 400 the Planning Commission will hold a hearing about an Urban Agriculture zoning proposal they are going to vote on and make law.  I haven’t really studied the issue in depth , but there are a couple of things that I don’t like about the proposal that I am hoping will be changed if enough people go to the meeting or sign a petition. One silly requirement of the zoning proposal is that gardens with fencing have to be made of wood or be ornamental. The other is “change of use” permit fees for larger urban farms. The San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance (SFUAA) has a lot of information on their site and a FAQ section, plus copies of the proposal on line, and lettters to sign to fax or email in (http://www.sfuaa.org/urban-ag-zoning-proposal.html).

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