This week the harvest at the farm was pretty minimal and it was all given away at the farm. I felt sort of bad that there was so little our Hecka Local brand produce this week on our table. I felt it not worth putting out the signs labeling the two kinds of produce we had. There was a lot of produce from the farmers market, a huge amount, and it’s now a fact that we are now getting tons of summer produce left over from local farmers. I am still overwhelmed what an abundant society we live and there is so much waste everywhere. Just the other day a local market was throwing a lot of non-organic slightly damaged or ripe produce into a green bin. At least San Francisco has green bins and composts some of the waste. It seems that if one wants to live sustainably in the city, besides growing one’s own food and harvesting fruit trees that need picking, we need to live off the waste. Fortunately the Free Farm Stand for now has a great free resource for locally grown, mostly organic and all fresh produce. It is hard at times to think that this produce is really a waste product, but it is.
The other excitement going on these days is at the Free Farm. Thanks to Carmen, we have a lively blog these days at http://thefreefarm.org/ and she documents the amazing work going on there every week. At the farm there often seems to be new challenges coming up from rats eating all our seedlings to night visitors taking things that are not locked up. What really amazes me is that despite our setbacks and at times what seems like lack of organization, we get so much done at the farm. I love it. Right now we are in need of a driver with or without a big truck to drive to Oakland probably to pick up a load of manure. That’s what make our farm grow and brings food to our table.
There is an article in today’s Chronicle about Urban Homesteading http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/12/HOO91JL14L.DTL. A friend Ruby is organizing a tour of urban farms in the eastbay this Sunday June 19th and no one turned away for lack of funds. I personally love garden tours and that is where I often learn a lot. I must admit though as much as I love animals and gardens together, I don’t like the idea of popularizing the butchering of animals as a cool thing to do. Most of these gardens/farms have animals it looks like and I wonder how many kill the male offspring or off the old chickens. Some raise rabbits for meat. In the article there is some mention of the controversy around changing the zoning code in cities to let people raise animals. Ruby makes the argument that “Look at the number of people who take really poor care of their cats and dogs, and yet it’s completely legal to have six cats,”. If we were to change the law to let people raise dogs and cats to butcher and eat, I wonder if urban homesteaders would be ok with that? Would they complain if their neighbor was barbequing a home grown cat? I know these are all personal choices whether to eat meat or not and it is probably better that people who eat meat grow and kill it themselves, but I am one of those NIMBY people I guess. You can learn more about the tour and register here: www.iuhoakland.com/farmtour.html.