The thing I love best about the Free Farm Stand and the Free Farm is all the wonderful people I meet all the time and a new crop seems to come up every week! Such an abundance of good vibes and helpful hands and hearts.
I heard about an abandoned pear orchard owned by a church in Moraga two years ago from my friend Justin who has gone out there and picked the fruit and shared some with me. When he came by with two boxes of fruit last week and told me there was a lot more there, I got inspired and contacted my friends on the “gleaning hot line”, and I organized a trip to go up there and a lot of pears were picked by my loyal fruit picking crew. Gary, who loves harvesting fruit, drove up again and picked the rest of them (or most of what was left). He actually ran into the pastor of the church whom he knew from years ago and the pastor offed him some work playing music for their church.. We had 860 ½ pounds of pears to give away on Sunday and I think they were very popular.
We also had at least a 100 pounds of produce from the Free Farm (the blog at http://thefreefarm.org/ is really beautiful this week and just a good example of all the many beautiful folks that enrich our work and lives). We have also started getting a regular donation of the lovely produce filled with spiritual energy from Green Gulch Farm.
Last week I wrote about an article in the Chronicle about Crop Swapping. A woman named Agnes came by who was in the photograph that that was published with the article. The photo was a shot of the San Anselmo Garden Exchange. She told me that unlike what was written in the article, the exchange is really about sharing garden produce and flowers and that you don’t have to have something to exchange to get something. It sounded wonderful. She said she is a caterer who doesn’t have a garden yet and that she has been coming by with various dishes to the exchange. I could tell she was hard core because she had a small food thermometer, a pen, and a tasting spoon in breast pocket. She was so sweet and brought a delicous roasted beet salad in a colorful bowl she had made to share with our crowd. She was prepared becaue she cut up the beets large and brought toothpicks to hand out the dish with. I also learned besides her talents as a cook and devotee of sharing food, she was a “burner” and at least 3 other Burning Man people were helping at our stand, including Mike our “hummus guy”.When I talk about an abundance of fabulous people I meet, Agnes is certainly one to be counted.Here is another beautiful soul who brought some small boquets of herbs from his garden to share.
Brittany brought her sister to help. Our intern extraordinaire is going back to school but promises to come around when she can.Clara, a dear friend who helped in grow food for us in the Secret Garden, came by with Jay her partner and her two new twins. Theyare some of the cutest babies I know.Every week something new in season in over abundance. This time it was cherry tomatoes.Enjoying the hummus .The line was the longest ever, around the corner and down 23rd St. Someone sort of complained that he had been in line an hour and a half. We announced to everyone that we are going to start handing out numbers next week so people can hang out in the park if they want instead of waiting in line. We will see if that helps. We only ran out of food around 3pm, though we did have some left over pears.
This week there is so much happening. There is the Heirloom Expo Fair happening from Tuesday through Thursday in Santa Rosa, http://theheirloomexpo.com/. Though it costs $10 to get in, I think it may be worth it. I may have room in our van, especially for possible drivers, and we may do some gleaning while up there in that area. I would be going up early Thursday morning.
The Biosafety Alliance is holding a “justice begins with Seeds State Wide Conference” this week which is GMO Awareness Week ,http://biosafetyalliance.org/. One hightlight of the event is that Dr. Vandana Shiva is speaking right down the street from me at Horace Mann School. I don’t know if you can get in without registering for the conference and what the “donation” price will be:
Horace Mann School Auditorium
September 13th 7:00 PM
351 23rd Street
I love this quote from her: “The time has come to reclaim the stolen harvest and celebrate the growing and giving of good food as the highest gift and most revolutionary act.” — from “Stolen Harvest”.
This Friday is Parking Day, http://parkingday.org/. I found it hard to find out where there are parking day events happening using this Map. Fun & Cheap, http://sf.funcheap.com/parking-day-2011-sf/, lists some events including the one the Free Farm is helping out with (also listed with http://www.sfenvironment.org/). The Free Farm is offering it’s some greenhouse space to Feel the Earth, a non-profit that is collaborating with the Dept. of the Environment and the Green Stack program connected with the Public Library. “Come pick up some free compost, learn about the Seed Lending Library, and practice sowing seeds that will be used in the Free Farm and other urban farm and garden projects.” Feel the Earth is looking for volunteers for this event: Phone: 415 294 1395
Email: email@example.com or just show up to help starting around 9am.