In permaculture they talk about patterns in nature that we want to pay attention to. This past week was all about holding  patterns:

Holding a space for peace and non-violence—Pancho  and Adelaja and a sister whom I don’t know were arrested for  meditating at Occupy Oakland. They weren’t actually part of the protest, but were holding open a public space that was likely to become a violent due to an impending raid by armed police. They were “holding their tongues” so to speak. They  were holding that space to be filled with peace and love. Later Pancho, wearing a red vest to signify he was the most dangerous prisoner and shackled,  had an “ICE hold” put up him, as he was waiting to be transferred to Immigration. He held the space there to for peace and love wile meditating in solitary confinement in Santa Rita Jail.

Holding our ground–the Occupy movement is holding it’s ground everywhere. People power is potent and the power of the people got Pancho out of jail and out of ICE’s hold on him, at least for now he is free!

Holding Fast—people are holding fast to their dreams and hopes for a better world

Holding Up—as the banks and the large corporations hold us up everyday,  the Occupy Movement is saying business as usual needs to be held up for now. Capitalism doesn’t “hold water” and is over rated in our view. Yet somehow we are all holding up during these difficult times for the planet.

Here is one of the best articles I have read that is up-to-date about the Occupy Movement written by Randall Amster who is a friend of Pancho’s and visited the Free farm a while back: Power to the Peaceful: Holding Space as OWS Camps Come Under Assault. And here is an article about how Occupy is a new societal model with ways to improve it

The Free Farm Stand was greeted with our first real rainy Sunday and we decided to dispense with the number system and do things more old style since we had the park to ourselves. I was thinking that we were lucky to finish the rain barrel installation at the Free Farm (see our blog, though we actually got a minimal amount of rain.

Robert dropped by with 17lbs of sunchokes from his school garden in Berkeley. I brought  34 lbs of Yacón  or Bolivian suroot from the Free Farm,  a relative of sunflower and sunchoke.

                                 demonstrating Yacón harvest standing next to the plant at the Free Farm

 the yield!

samples on the table…you eat it raw in salads like jicama

 I continue to be amazed at our abundance here in California…we had quite a lot of produce left over from the farmer’s markets for a November. We also had no shortage of people coming for produce in spite of the rainand at the end of the day it was all given away.

Here is another less common vegetable that I like growing. A friend of mine from Santa Barbara brought me two white varieties of chayote that we planted in the garden next to the Free Farm Stand. I was so excited about trying a variety I haven’t seen in the markets here and also nervous about planting such a rare plant. We also gave away a lot of seedlings, including tree collards and Cuban oregano.

We will be closed next Sunday after Thanksgiving and we are also taking a two week break and will closed December 25th  Christmas and Sunday New Years day January 1st and will reopen Sunday January 8th, 2012.



Right now my heart goes out to our brothers and sisters at Occupy Oakland who have been arrested just this morning for non-violently exercising their first amendment rights to protest.  I have just been sent two emails with photos of our brothers and dear satyagrahis Pancho and Adalaja who help us a lot here in San Francisco both at the Free Farm and the Free Farm Stand. They teach us that we need to be a force and witness for truth and love and also to build the alternatives we want to see in our world.

Last night I was at OccupySF and talking with my friend Justin who was meeting with folks there about spreading the occupy movement into neighborhoods. Like going to the Bay View where people are occupying foreclosed houses and helping the people put in Occupy gardens there. I was thinking why not plant some fruit trees in between the palm trees at OccupySF?

The reason this movement is so important is that it does so many things including challenging  who can use public property and for what purpose. It is similar to what the Free Farm Stand recently faced. For example, what are public parks to be used for? We believe we have an emergency going on in our country and in our city, and that sharing locally grown organic produce with neighbors is a legitimate use of the park during these hard times. The same I would say for the Occupy movement, is that people need to camp out and express their frustration with the current system which is very broken.

here is our Free Farm Crew including Pancho after moving 20 cubic feet of compost at the Free Farm

as good gardeners/farmers we grow soil and as world citizens we grow the soil of peace, love, and harmony

The good weather continues and the Free Farm Stand gets more organized. Tape on the ground and signs of all kinds helping people get produce more easily. I did notice we seem to be slow giving out the produce, even though we have a lot less these day. I think it took us about an hour to give out produce to 90 people.

“Enter Here” sign

“Numbers” sign

two new volunteers…we love them!

Kimberly and Robert brought produce from the Secret Garden, including surplus sunchokes from Robert’s school garden. Jason dropped of 18 lbs of his chayote bounty from his Mission garden.

Claire picked a salad mix from Treat Commons

Last week I found out about an online article about us at a place Care2 make a difference (…about our “Victory”. The article was fine though there was an incorrect part about a church buying the land the Stand is on. The article also mentions a petition they put out that got 6,821 signatures from all over the world. Isn’t that trippy?

Talk about neighbors sharing their surplus, as we were closing down the Stand a neighbor who lives across the street came by with a big roasted pig that was left over from a party at Paul Getty’s house. Claire accepted the roasted pig and then realized there was no place to take it. I half seriously suggested taking it to Occupy and so our two new volunteers and Cat drove it down there. I later found out it was devoured by the people there and I guess that is the 1% feeding the 99%. I do feel bad not only for the pig, but for the people consuming it. I decided to leave out the photo as I found it disturbingly gross.