Taking Root

I returned from my one week in the Midwest refreshed and filled with Thankfulness (I survived the turkey holocaust day and there are a million other things I am grateful for). Yesterday I took off early from the Free Farm Stand to go to a memorial for a friend named Wave who recently died from cancer. At the memorial that was held at Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen where I volunteer, I ran into my friend Sam. Last time I saw him he was a student at the Center for Nature and Christian Spirituality (http://www.westminsterwoods.org/cncs/). He is now part of their staff and he introduced me to one of the co-founders of the center Nancy Wiens. Though I am not Christian I appreciate and am excited about their program that focuses on working with young adults and helping them explore the “way of Jesus with others on the path and who have a passion for nature.” The people at the center live together in intentional community as part of their experience of “evaluating individually and collectively the choices they make in light of their relationship with God.”

Attending the memorial and meeting Nancy and talking about different things, got me to thinking how valuable it is to be part of a community and how special the interconnections we have with each other are. Though I didn’t know Wave as much as others in the room, I felt connected with the Martin’s community and family and sharing their tears and laughter together. I have also been thinking about how important it is for us all, especially young people, to learn to put down roots and live in one place for a while. To build communities centered around service and art.  Just like family farms are becoming extinct, I think we are losing the richness of families that take root and grow inspiring projects together.

When I got back to San Francisco I was happy to know that Occupy SF is still hanging in there. Even among the in-laws I was visiting in Illinois people knew about the occupy movement, though I was surprised that most of the relatives I spoke with just didn’t get it and didn’t see the point of Occupy.  Antonio came by the Farm Stand rather late, but dropped off some fliers both in Spanish and English titled “Why Occupy?” “We have needs and desires and thoughts, and friends and lovers, families and communities. In the fullness of our being, we will care for and love each other…” These words we need make real. Only if we learn to grow roots and be stable and consistent in our projects can things thrive and flourish. Here is a video I ran across  that I think is related because it is all about our interconnections:  http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?qid=4810

The Farm Stand was wonderful though a bit hectic at the beginning. Jewish Community High School came with about 12 students to help us out plus the other regular volunteers. We had a lot of produce and the weather was warm and beautiful. I especially like the variety of hecka local produce we had to share. A student from Stanford Glean came by the Free Farm on Saturday with boxes of the heart shaped Hachiya persimmons (76lbs) from one tree and there were more on it. It was a root extravaganza on Sunday.  We also harvested 55lbs of Bolivian Sunroot or Yacón root and 20lbs of sunchokes. Robert brought more of his sunchokes from the school her grows them at (36lbs). and a neighbor came by with 5lbs of lemons from Noe Valley. I didn’t weigh all the banana squash and calabacitas (this is what I was told these pumpkin like squash were called) that Tom brought from Santa Rosa, but I am guessing we had at least over 100lbs). This is what I call a good selection of an early San Francisco winter harvest. We also had some broccoli and kale from the farm and the secret garden contributed some collards.

Wednesday, December 14 at the SF Main Public Library Community Cinema will be showing for free the film TAKING ROOT, the inspiring story of Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai and the Greenbelt Movement in Kenya. (they have planted over 35 million trees). Here is a short video about her: http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=2664.
After the film, we are hosting a resource fair for local organizations in the lobby involved in urban restoration, community gardens, sustainability issues, and tree planting.  The Free Farm will have a table there.



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