The Billionaire Club

Recently I was talking to a Free Farm volunteer who told me something beautiful. She said that if we determine the value or worth of someone not based on money, but on the quality of their relationships with others, then many of us would be billionaires. I definitely feel like I am in the billionaire club. The Free Farm Stand and Free Farm has a bank full of precious social capital: Great volunteers who really make it all happen, goodwill among friends & neighbors, good work to share, and beautiful relationships to grow and cultivate.

We all need to become these kind of billionaires to transform society and invest in community building and bringing about change on a very local level. Our occupy tents may have come down, but the long term work of engaging in karma yoga continues. Some call this the season of sharing this time of year, but I think all year is the season of sharing.

An example of this kind of love work happened at the Free Farm  last Saturday and really made my day.  Rahul and Asha, friends through Pancho, brought 9 people they have been hosting who are involved in the west coast InSPIRE retreat. They put on “5-week immersion trips in India where the participants interact and work with a wide range of organizations and leaders in social change– starting with Manav Sadhna at Gandhi Ashram. “

They were some of the best volunteers we have attracted at the farm and not only did they work really hard, but they took a break after lunch and played music, that filled the air with joy and celebration.  Also, my long term friend David came by and worked with some of them, bringing electricity to the greenhouse. It was so great to be connected with all these people.

Also, another smaller group of people showed up, I can’t remember the name of the group, who works with troubled teen girls. They were on trip learning about farms and our watershed and helped out for an hour or so. I also encourage you to read my latest post at where I talk about how we are all made of starstuff.

The Free Farm Stand also rocked with great volunteer energy and it seems we are growing closer as a Free Farm Stand family. Though things are slowing down as the amount of produce we grow and collect is a lot less during the winter. We didn’t have a lot of anything except some Yacón root grown at the Free Farm.

Yacón root

I spent most of my time on Sunday at the Free Farm Stand gardening in the garden next to the Stand. Claire and some other volunteers helped and we got a lot done, including planting a whole bed with baby lettuce.


Last week Margaret sent me the link to the Stanford Gleaning Project blog that I had forgotten existed The write up of their visit to the stand at the end of November was very interesting to me, a perspective that  someone new to the scene is observing for the first time.

The Free Farm Stand will be closed on Christmas Day Sunday Dec 25th and the following Sunday as well January 1st. We will reopen on January 8th.

Also this Wednesday evening check this out:

Wed., Dec. 14, 2011, 5:45 pm Taking Root film & Resource Fair
SF Main Public Library, 100 Larkin St., SF Screening 5:45-6:45 pm Resource Fair 6:45-7:30 pm (The Free Farm will have a table!)

Free tree seedlings for those who RSVP on Eventbrite

Please join The Free Farm and a host of local organizations involved in urban restoration, farming and community gardening at this free event!

Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai tells the story of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement and follows Maathai, the movement’s founder and the first environmentalist and African woman to win the Nobel Prize. Maathai discovered her life’s work by reconnecting with the rural women with whom she had grown up. They told her they were walking long distances for firewood, and that clean water was scarce. The soil was disappearing from their fields, and their children were suffering from malnutrition. “Well, why not plant trees?” she suggested. Maathai soon discovered that tree planting had a ripple effect of empowering change and the Greenbelt Movement found themselves working against deforestation, poverty, ignorance, embedded economic interests, and government corruption; they became a national political force that helped to bring down the country’s 24-year dictatorship.

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