Working Stiffs

I have been slow trying to get this writing out.  This is from last week:

I was thinking about Miracle Grow the other day. I think it is ironic  that such a chemical product  is labeled with the truth that miracles do grow. But not because of their product.  I think miracles grow when you put a lot of love and care into something. The Free Farm Stand miracle keeps growing every week. I just love it how our family of volunteers currently seems to be increasing.   We have gotten to the point where we are now using a calendar and have a schedule of when different people do different tasks and have switched to an industrial grade email program  to manage our emails. At the stand the new “hecka local corner and info booth” looks pretty cool.  A funny story is that my neighbor Jennifer who lives right behind me just starting helping to run the hecka local table and the “tasting table”.  I didn’t know her until she showed up to help a few weeks back.  This week we had a heck of a heck local table: mustard greens, artichokes, and loquats from Alemany  Farm, Persian Limes from a friend who brought the from Santa Barbara, lettuce and stinging nettles from my backyard garden, and lemons from our friend and neighbor Janet. We also had summer starts to give away (tomato and squash seedlings) also from Alemany Farm. 

hecka local cornerP1010026P1010008

The previous week we had lemons from our neigbors

  dpw lemons

plus lemons from DPW  that has a gleaning program…they will pick your tree and give us the fruit

(make sure you ask them to donate it to us

henna onhand

Someone in line got their hand hennaed

Part of the dream for the Free Farm Stand is to be more than a place that gives away fresh local organic vegetables and fruit to local to low income people.  We also hope to promote urban food production and encourage others to grow a small part of what they eat, so that they can experience the joy and spiritual high from being connected to the earth and soil.  Last but not least we want to inspire people to do their part, whatever it is, to bring more light and beauty in the world and to bring more compassion and generosity also .  

Yesterday at the Stand my friend Mr. @ showed up and graciously helped out. I told him I missed him and haven’t seen him for a couple weeks at least. He said he got another job  helping a friend with a food truck on Sundays and Saturdays. I jokingly said  I stilled loved him even though he had become a working stiff.  These days more people are lured into becoming more than full time working stiffs so they can pay their increasingly high rents and bills. Starving artists and freaks are having a hard time living here. Who is going to carry on the dream work if we all march like stiff zombies lining up to punch the time clock? It is ironic because Mr. @ was recently interviewed in Mission Local ( with his inspiring work at Mission High gardening with special ed kids on a rooftop. In the interview he got me excited when he mentioned the idea of mutual aid. I never thought about that term before. I guess I need to read Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin. I like to think that we need to promote and nurture an economic system centered around mutual care (rather than aid) and love for each other.

This week we had two new volunteers at our Hecka Local Corner (Blanca and Naomi).

local corner

 I have started to call this part of the Free Farm Stand the Hecka Local corner to balance out the Local Mission Market, the Locals Corner, the  Local Mission Eatery, and the newest  Local Cellar.  It is my gentle reaction to this local mess. Apparently there was going to be a  a local walk of shame directed  towards these local stores, but it was called off  for now ( I think it is better that we direct our energy to creating a Hecka Local community of folks gleaning the local trees and growing food and sharing it with each other, especially with those in need.

If you are a working stiff or not, perhaps you can help me with my newest project that I see as connected to the Free Farm Stand. I have started working at  an overgrown established garden on 23rd St. (hence the 23rd St garden). Right now I am there and the gate is open to the public on Saturdays from 9am- 2:30pm and also on Tuesday from 1-4pm (this Tuesday I will be out of town but I think a friend will be there to open the gate). I am trying to get the garden in better shape, set up a greenhouse,  increase food production in the sunny area, and a lot of other fun projects. If you are coming on a Saturday please let me know by Thursday so we can make enough lunch for the volunteers. Eventually I would like to pull together a core group that helps run this project,  sort of like the way that the Free Farm Stand operates now or the way we ran the Free Farm . 

I am also looking for people to help me harvest produce for the Free Farm Stand and work in the greenhouse at Alemany Farm on Friday starting around 12:30  and going until 3pm. I can give volunteers a lift there and back to the Mission.





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