Bringing in the Leaves

It is nice to take time off from writing this blog every once in a while, especially when it feels like there isn’t anything new to say. The Free Farm Stand feels like it is running on auto-pilot or cruise control and there isn’t much else to say but that it is a lot of fun, seems like a beautiful thing, and always gives me as lots of energy and inspiration back for all the effort I put into it. It is also a good feeling to hear how much people appreciate the free produce and or the experience of the scene. I have also heard volunteers say that being part of the Free Farm Stand community of volunteers has meant a lot to them.

We are in the harvest season, the season of plenty, with plenty of summer squash from our Free Farm (read the latest Free Farm  post by yours truly here …plus plenty of kale, basil, and lettuce leaves,  tomatoes, rocoto hot peppers,  and green beans. Also, we have been able to bring some flowers to the Stand which has always been one of my goals, to share flowers with those who come by. We are rejoicing…

Last week I attended a meeting Recreation and Park held to show the pretty much final drawing design for the new park at Folsom and 17th Streets. Although we didn’t get a food forest or a farm to feed low income people in the neighborhood, there are a lot of good things in the design: a community garden with only four raised beds in boxes (most of the garden will be run communally), a hedge of trees bordering the garden (I think they said citrus trees but this could be negotiated), and a large demonstration garden for wildlife habitat and conservation which will incorporate hands- on garden educational elements, outdoor classroom and amphitheater/stageand espaliered fruit trees. They also are open to the lawn being something different than grass, like perhaps a meadow with wildflowers. Here is a picture of the design:

 The presentation from the meeting isn’t posted yet, but should be here when it is  What is important is that now is the time that people can suggest improvements to their design. One can write the following people if they want to make suggestions to the design:  Mary Hobson is the Project Manager [email protected] Andrea Alfonso is one of the Landscape Architects [email protected] Marvin Yee is the one who will take suggestions for the garden [email protected] One thing people can do is write him and tell him you support the garden being run communally no individual plots, like Alemany Farm is run. Also, Oscar Grande from PODER is the one to make suggestions for the demonstration/education garden [email protected] He is also the one to suggest a name for the park. Also, any ideas for art in the park could be submitted to the Mary or Andrea for now (in the presentation they said that the artist Carmen Lomas Garza has been chosen by the Art Commission to be the artist for the park). Some of the ideas I want to suggest are an outdoor sink (3 compartment?), some bins for storing manure or mulch or potting soil, a lath house for harding off seedlings, a shed big enough to store a wheelbarrow,  having a big tree central to the park and naming the park after the tree, like Chestnut Park, no grassy lawn but a meadow with wildflowers, a large wooden platform for yoga and stretching, park benches that are made out of cob or ferro cement with mosaic tile (let’s take some inspiration from Gaudi and Park Guell).

Yesterday I ran into my friend Eric that runs the website which is the diggers archives. He recently put up the inspiring French documentary made in 1998 Les Diggers de San Francisco.  The link is here  or you can see it on youtube here. Check out towards the end of the video some footage of the soup kitchen Crumbz that our No Penny Opera ran.  What to me is really delightful is that today we have a zillion idealistic folks running around spreading the revolution like manna and making the magic happen again. The Occupy Movement was the start of it…now I got an email asking me to participate in the Human Be In(g):

“We are inviting everyone interested in creating a better world together to gather in Golden Gate Park Sep 15-16

As people offer workshops, skill shares, art, music, and other ideas, we will be posting information to

We have a general e-mail address at [email protected]

I went to their website and found this interesting note at the bottom of the page:

“The Food Bank of America action was revitalized by the Space TranSFormers on Thursday, June 26th at 3pm at the Bank of America at 23d and Mission.  We will continue to give away boxes of free fruits and vegetables on Thursdays and demonstrate the possibility of a different world where free farms stands replace corporate banking monopolies and abundance replaces scarcity.”


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