I am sitting here typing as 2 more gallons of tomato sauce that I canned are boiling away on our stove, plus 6 more quarts of fruit compote. On Saturday night I canned 3 gallons of tomato sauce all with organic tomatoes that were soft and had been squished, all left-overs from the farmer’s market. There is so much fruit and vegetables here in the bay area during the summer it can be overwhelming just thinking about it. I took the day off yesterday from the stand and instead went to the Free Farm where SFCare was holding a sock drive for the homeless and a picnic with vegan hotdogs. When I came back to the stand to help clean up the second delivery of produce came a bit late and there was still a line of people getting food. I wound up bringing home a box of soft peaches and nectarines and a lot of ripe tomatoes. There are orchards of fruit I hear about that need picking and gardens I haven’t had time to harvest from, including more potatoes in my backyard. (I harvested 16 pounds of beautiful spuds from a somewhat shady 28 sq ft spot or about 1 3/4lb potato per square foot). I would say we could definitely use some help with canning. We need a phone tree that has people on it to call who can glean or can on short notice. Having a vehicle or way to pick up surplus produce would be helpful and having the equipment on hand and jars would be useful too. If anyone has extra canning jars around that they would want to part with that would be helpful as I see more soft fruit and tomatoes in our future. While I am at it we can also use wide mouth jars for sprout kits.Mike ran the stand plus our regular crews of fabulous volunteers made it all happen. Brittany and I collaborated on making a sprout making kit and she assembled, attaching a small cartoon booklet how to grow sprouts to jars with screen rubber banded on top and red clover seed inside. I also made 4 pounds of sprouts and they were handed out at the bread table (the sprouts I think were put on the hummus, tomato, and bread Mike was handing out). The kits we given out to people that like eating the sprouts and wanted to grow some themselves. I love growing sprouts and giving them away, but I also feel like anyone can grow sprouts and I wanted to encourage people to try growing some of their own food even if they don’t have a backyard.
When I got to the stand Mike gave me a taste of a delicious Armenian cucumber and he said some people from a farm in David came by with a lot of them to share (apparently they were pretty big). Also, I noticed a friend of mine named Wendy came by with a giant overgrown zucchini. It probably could feed quite a few people.
The Free Farm Stand now has a face painter. It has become a real children’s event!