I thought my canning activity for the year was about over, but I forgot about apples. Our backyard tree was loaded with green Granny Smith apples and my neighbor had a tree I planted years ago, Hudson Golden Gem, that has been dropping apples from way up high. So I have been mixing the apples with leftover and picked over soft stone fruit from the Free Farm Stand and canning the most delicious apple sauce. I forgot how much I like apple sauce and the homemade kind without any sugar is the best. I think there is an apple gleaning adventure taking place in October in the Sierra Foothills and we should have a lot of great apples in a few weeks.
In the meantime our tables have been full with summer bounty. One week ago the big truck from Food Runners didn’t have a driver so the produce was picked up with a car. As a result we had very little left over produce to give out. Again, Alemany Farm saved our day by contributing a lot of lettuce and other produce to supplement what we grew.. I just love this when we can show our city that we can feed people in need on farms in the city, if we only made space for more farm land. The urban grown produce we had that day, plus some padron peppers and strawberries from the farmers market served 100 people before we ran out.
Some of the many volunteers we get and some of the many “shoppers” (this week almost 200!)
Some of our Free Farmers
I just found out we got a short write up in the October issue of yoga journal (see the sidebar under writings about the Free Farm Stand). Again, reporters never get it quite right. The emphasis on this article is that the Free Farm Stand is about sharing the abundance of farmers’ markets. Probably most everyone including reporters and first time visitors think that we are mainly about giving away high quality produce. I can understand that because at times the display of produce is very impressive. I just hope that someday people will know that most of our produce comes from our neighborhoods. We can start by planting more fruit and nut trees everywhere. The last two weeks I have been harvesting chestnuts from trees down the street from the stand that I planted in 1982. It is personally exciting to bring to the Stand some locally grown nuts, something we rarely get anywhere else.
Laura and Norma with local grown trombone squash…have we started a fashion trend this year?
Please come out and celebrate and bless our Free Farm this coming Saturday. We have somehow managed to show what the power of the people can do…how a rag-tag group can come together and grow a lot of food, community, and good will. I feel t pretty happy about it and look forward to our future. I have been thinking of a song by that sums up my feelings right now (here are some lyrics from it):
My Big Nurse – David Byrne And Brian Eno (Everything That Happens Will Happen Today)
…In the comfort of the world
In the arms of my big nurse
From the science of the heart
To each animal and plant
Compact, relaxed- intact, give thanks
I’m counting all the possibilities
For dancing on this lazy afternoon
We will also have a lot of work to do to find homes for all our farm stuff and plants and trees. After the celebration we will begin potting up plants and contacting everyone we can think of to help us out. We are hoping that as a first priority that plants and things can go to groups that are service oriented .