Small Wonder

Small things mean everything to me.  E.F.  Schumacher said that “small is beautiful” and I take that to heart. Small sexy smiles turn me on. Even non-sexy smiles are great or just some kind words are adorable.  The ideas behind the Free Farm Stand and the Free Farm were always small and simple.  Grow food, share the surplus,  encourage our neighbors to grow food and share their surplus as a way to make sure that everyone has access to fresh, organic, local produce. Since the beginning we have slowly taken small steps to achieve our goals.

Last week I almost did a back flip out of happiness when a small woman who only spoke Spanish brought me some chilies she had grown to share. She had gotten the plant from our stand!  That was such a great example of how small is beautiful.

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It is things like this that make me want to keep working to make the Free Farm Stand more than just a food giveaway program. We are now starting to set up an information booth that will hopefully be able to help answer peoples questions about growing food, eating and cooking healthy and vegan, and the meaning of life. We have moved the “hecka local” table down  past the bread and  are trying to explain why that produce is different from the rest of the produce and how everyone can do it themselves… not just grow your own but a little for someone else that may need help. The free seedling table  will be there too, though if we don’t find a local place to move our large greenhouse to we will have to get creative about growing seedlings…maybe grow them in my backyard like I used to do.

I also love it when the Free Farm Stand can be a place for neighbors to share something about themselves and their culture. It was also last week that we caused a lot of excitement by bringing a box of pineapple guavas to the Stand that were grown at Alemany Farm. One woman came by from Bolivia and called it by one name and then a man came by I think from Mexico who called it another name. He was very happy to see them and talked a while about the fruit.

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20131013_ffs_0073 (Medium) 20131013_ffs_0070More photos of the hecka local table:

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 beautiful chard from Alemany Farm

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beautiful and tasty lettuce…big heads! Most from Alemany

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rocoto pepper season

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not as much this week, but a lot of peppers including

3 lbs rocotos from my backyard

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last week with lots of Alemany Farm produce

I also love it when other people show up and contribute something to our Free Farm Stand weekly neighborhood event. Alex and Tierney  created a wonderful Free Store or Really Really Free Market this week and the week before an people took home a lot of things (I even picked up some mason jars which I will use to can the apple sauce I made from the wormy left over apples from the Hecka Local table).

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The apples in all those boxes (over 300 pounds) were picked from a friend’s orchard in the Sierra Foothills and they were really yummy. And there are more to pick if anyone is going up near Tahoe with a truck.

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More local produce:

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Figs from Mollie from down the street

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sunchokes from Treat Commons next to the Stand

This lettuce was harvested and shared at the Stand:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAa lot of lettuce in a small space (baby gem)

This lettuce being planted (from seedlings from the Free Farm):

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These avocados from our tree at the Free Farm will not make it to harvest. We have to move the tree off the property in two months and I was told that the best way to do it is to cut it down leaving some wood above the graft and start over:

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Talking about the Free Farm, we had some students from Stanford come out last Saturday and helped us harvest and dig up plants for the move:

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To sum it up:

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community

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making new friends

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I just read about the singing revolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vGItG3Xznw&feature=share…”singing together is our power”

Community and Food (just like the motto of Bi-Rite):

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blowing our trombone squash

Please keep in touch with us at the Free Farm. We only have two months to get off the land we are on and we have a lot of stuff to move and give away. We have a lot of community groups coming out in the next couple of weeks to get stuff, but I have a feeling there will be plenty to give away and a lot of work digging up stuff. We really want to see the Free Farm replanted in many other spots around the city.

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