Pretty Peas, Peppers, and a Permit Too

At today’s Free Farm Stand I got to display our official permit to operate from the Health Department. I never thought I would have to have a permit to give away produce and bread, but I am glad that we can continue for now.

I am continually grateful for the opportunity to live a life dedicated to service and for all the amazing volunteers that show up each week. Today an older man I know from the neighborhood who pushes a shopping cart around came by to get some produce and bread.  I actually don’t know what he took and if he has a place to cook, but  I love that we can be helpful to people in his situation who probably live in our neighborhood on the street.

I was pretty proud of our pea harvest this week. Over ten pounds of beautiful snap peas that were planted in October.  They are not as slug/snail proof as fava beans, but it surprised me that we got such a great crop despite losing a lot after we planted them. We also had the last of our our hot peppers also grown on our Free Farm.

lots of sweet kale from the farm too

I have no photo of the pretty chard brought from Pam’s garden

healthy greens means healthy kids

I love our volunteers

Here is the latest news about our Free Farm. St. Paulus Church who owns the land the farm is on has been so gracious in letting us use their land temporarily since 2010. They just signed the agreement with Maracor Development to go ahead with the plan of selling the land to them and having it developed for market rate housing and a new church building for St. Paulus. We now know we have 24-36 months until “entitlement” or when the city gives final approval for the building project. This will include an environmental impact report, community meetings with the neighbors, coming up with a design, and dealing with all legal and building issues. Once entitlement is reached the church signs the property over to the developer. If it takes longer for the project to be ok’d by the city the developer has 3 four month periods to extend the entitlement period, but the developer will have to pay a price if it is extended. Apparently Maracorp wanted in the agreement that we would be out 6 months before entitlement happens. St. Paulus had problems with that since  no one knows when entitlement will be exactly. I think it is in the signed agreement despite St. Paulus not liking it.

What that means for us is that we are now going to be more actively looking for a spot to relocate. Time goes by fast.  We are open to looking at all options that give us a permanent spot to move to. I myself would like to be in the Mission and have the Free Farm Stand be located on the farm (rather than having two Free Farm Stands as it is now). I also would love to find a place big enough to move our 20′ x 30′ greenhouse and have some room left over for a demonstration garden (I would love to have enough space for a big farm like we have now but that may be a lot to manifest). Anyone that wants to be on a committee to help us find a new home would be welcome. This could be an exciting new change and challenge.

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