I am putting my sunny side up. It seems super appropriate right now and Thanksgiving is almost here, though if you read this blog you may know I am always giving thanks! My friend Greg told me yesterday that some Tibetan lama told Lou Reed that the trick is for one to feel sad but not be sad. I am so not being sad right now and I am energized to give away the Free Farm in a responsible way.  We  have been busy doing  that and it has been going fairly well though there is still a lot of stuff on the land that needs moving, including soil.

photo 3Abundance Community Homestead  in the Bayview with a tree from the Free Farm

freefarm_abundance1Caveman on the left , the crew from Abundance , and I.

I love the family that runs the Abundance farm, they are the sweetest and most hard working

folks around. The family that serves together stays together. They gave us jam and honey from their bees ( we served the honey at the Stand yesterday).

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trees from the Free Farm in Emerald City Garden in Double Rock in the Bayview

Our Free Farm, aka church without walls, got replanted in a number of churches around town:

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Grace Cathedral

freefarm_stgregorys_0St.Gregory’s

freefarm_incarnationChurch of the Incarnation

freefarm_stjames (1)Picking up plants from St James

freefarm_staidansSt. Aidan’s

photoBathhouse commune in Berkeley working in the rain and dug up a bunch of plants

20131123_2400 (Medium)digging up a good sized avocado for Alemany Farm

The greenhouse is down and stored in Fruitvale in Oakland at Canticle Farm and at Eco-SSF’s School Farm on Portola. Like I said, there are still a lot of plants and structures and stuff at the farm and we are encouraging people to come and get it. Our workdays are on Wednesday and Saturdays starting at 10am until we close  (our goal is to finish clearing things out by December 9th). If you can’t make it during our regular workdays contact us and we might be able to get someone to come there another day.  We are closed the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Saturday after (though if you want to help out next Saturday we are digging up ivy at Western Park apartments so we can plant two more trees  from the farm there (it is low income senior housing).

The Free Farm on Sunday had it’s sunny side up too. It was a beautiful sunny crisp day and the scene was a buzz with activity. We had 10 students from Stanford visiting. They were from the Thanksgiving Back  program sponsored by by the  Haas Center for Public Service. Their goal is to expose students (many for the first time) to social justice issues and public service. It was great to have them around helping, because we had a lot extra produce that I collected to supplement holiday meals people might be fixing.

There was also a great music jam on the grass, gardening in the garden and orchard, a free store, and local honey and homemade jam tasting. Plus Pam Pierce came by with some beautiful apples from her tree and another neighbor brought some of her granny smith apples to share. Plus our friend and neighbor Janet brought more rocoto peppers and yes some cherry tomatoes fro her garden. I love the rain for our gardens and when we were taking down the greenhouse it was pouring, but having these nice sunny days is wonderful.

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a buzza buzz with activity

The Free Farm and the Free Farm Stand has been getting in the news a lot recently. I don’t know what effect this has in the world or even locally. So far no angel has appeared that wants to give us a house to start an Urban Kibbutz or a Catholic Worker style home to put up homeless  farmers and bottom feeders  like me who want to feed the hungry and food insecure masses.  I was blown out the other day when I read this article recently about the resurgence of communes in San Francisco: Tech-entrepreneurs revive communal living.  I lived in a commune for over 24 years and communes were something different then. We was poor. From the article, “Often backed by tech millionaires with ambitions beyond profit, the organizers talk about building homes with reduced rent options for desirable characters. They see themselves pushing against gentrification’s dulling effect on the city… The leased mansions are just the beginning. The founders of Open Door Development Group, a real estate development firm for co-living properties, plan to start buying apartment buildings and residential hotels and converting them. Eventually, they hope to build from scratch.”  Where is a tech millionaire when I need him or her???

Here are the articles about us: Mission Local and another Mssion Local article. And this one from the Examiner just came out.


Surrender is not waving the white flag. I see it as accepting the perfectness and beauty of the here and now. Handing one’s heart over to the divine love force out there and letting that energy flow take us for a ride on a cosmic roller coaster. As we close down the Free Farm and literally give it all away to other farms and gardens in the city, we surrender.  It is exciting to see the trees and plants go to good homes where they will grow.  I haven’t been taking pictures of any of this busy activity going on, but believe me it is not only emotional but sweet.

We are having two big workdays on the next  two Saturdays. Saturday November 16 we are planing on taking down the two greenhouses and get them ready to move the following Saturday November 23rd.  We greatly appreciate any help we can get. Then gardeners will be coming during all our Wednesday and Saturday work days  to get plants and what stuff is left there. All the trees left in the ground that have been tagged are saved for different community groups as well as some tools left that we are using and some other things.  The rest  of the plants and some trees in small pots and other things are available for people to come and pick up from November 13th through December 20th. Just come by when we are there or possibly by appointment and talk to someone about something you may want and they will help you. We will be closed on Wednesday November 25 before Thanksgiving and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The Free Farm Stand is not closing. Only the Free Farm, though I have always thought the Free Farm is an integral  part of the Free Farm Stand. We will be baack to where we were when we started, a Free Farm Stand without a Farm. The schedule for the Stand for this November  is that  we will remain open  Sunday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I haven’t figured out the schedule for the Stand for the holidays season in December.

We are moving into winter season which is mostly greens season. We are about finished harvesting at the Free Farm  and Friday I went to Alemany Farm and harvested turnip thinnings, kale, and some pineapple guava. I also have no photos from this week’s stand, but I will share  two  photos from our inspiring karma yogis in Fruitvale at Casa de Paz  who are running FrutaGift on Sundays. Their table with produce on it looks like ours, because we are both seasonal.

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Here  is another photo from Sam Bower’s facebook page that I love. His comment: “Neighbor with photo of her grandmother who grew up on our street- here she is with dairy cows in old Fruitvale”.

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