Once We Were Worriers

I may have been born with extra worry genes. I always remember being a worrier (not a warrior). Though Peace Pilgrim said that worrying is just another habit like anger. She talked about relinquishment of the worry habit and living in the present. I think the universe has always been nudging me to give up my worrying habit. I remember as a kid I was big fan of Mad magazine and “What me Worry?” has been one of my mantras. I also relate to Meher Baba who said “Don’t worry, be happy”.

The other day I had an experience that made me realize that I still have a way to go to get off the worry habit, but that I have made progress as time goes on. I recognized in a close  friend their worry habit and that they were trying to push it on me. Thanks to grace I was able to see that I don’t need to be worried like they wanted me to be.

I am trying to break this habit in my life and in the work I do including at the Free Farm Stand and in the gardens I am growing, like at the 23rd Street Garden. I am trying to stay chill and not worry so much about everything working out the way I had planned. I try to put my worry energy into spending some time practicing sitting in silence every day and into prayer.

Both the Free Farm Stand and the 23rd Street Garden are doing great. This week was another time in our project’s history that it seemed that the Hecka Local table had more produce and greater variety than the table with the left-over produce from the farmer’s market. I am not sure why but the amount of left-over produce from the markets seems to be a little less, though there continues to be a lot of stone fruit (though last week we had a ton of tomatoes).

I continue to be super grateful for the generosity of Alemany Farm for supplying us with so much fresh produce and also with seedlings to give away. And we continue to have need for volunteers who want to harvest vegetables and fruit on Fridays at the farm. Please contact me if you are interested or might want to catch a ride from the Mission when we go.

Cat started a project that I love of having guests or volunteers who grow food or flowers posting pictures of their gardens at the stand to encourage others to do the same. Lorena who volunteers with us and her niece Cielo made the first poster to share with everyone.  This is really the best part of the Free Farm Stand.


Here are some more photos:

Neighbors sharing some surplus:

neibors with oranges woman with apples

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pax just info booth

Pax at the new vegan information booth

The raised bed boxes are built in the 23rd St. garden and we are looking for more cardboard to cover the bottoms of the bed to keep the weeds from coming up. Then we have to fill the beds with organic material and soil (we may have to get more soil). We plan to start growing some food soon!  Though we will plant in the beds, our main focus will be to continue to get the infrastructure completed…from rebuilding the compost bin, installing drip irrigation, putting legs on the benches we rescued, moving and installing and framing out the greenhouse (the goal to get this done before the winter season moves in).

The Free Farm Stand and our new garden project need handy volunteers with carpentry, electrical, and plumbing skills. Plus we need drivers for both projects (we have a van though someone with a pick-up truck could be helpful).

Here are two interesting articles that highlight the problems with our current economic system we live under: Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up to Be Farmers from the New York Times and THE TIPPING POINT from the online version of edible San Francisco. The article about farmers says “The dirty secret of the food movement is that the much-celebrated small-scale farmer isn’t making a living.” The article concludes that small farmers need to  organize and form organizations like in the past that support farmers. “shape a vision of a new food economy that ensures that growing good food also means making a good living.” The other article is about the minimum wage debate going on that in the upcoming election voters will decide with to raise it.  The article asks the question “Can San Francisco Restaurants Pay Workers More & Survive?” The article talks about how unaffordable the city is and it is already hard for minimum wage workers to live here. This article focuses on those workers who work in restaurants that feed people who can afford to eat out, but the fact is that any minimum wage person can’t easily live here. “To afford a market-rate one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, a worker must make $29.83 an hour, according to a March report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.”

To me this system doesn’t really work for most of us and that I am always writing about how we need to come up with an alternative way of surviving. Places like Mission Pie (who are mentioned in the article) or Little City Gardens or any of the businesses trying to create green jobs (go to a San Francisco Urban Ag meeting and listen to the someone there who wants to create a profitable farm on a roof) are promoting a friendly hip world based on a system of exchange. The truth is coming out everyday in stories like these that it there are serious problems with capitalism, no matter what kind of smile is stuck to it or how much we love their vegan pies or love the gardens they create. Even worker owned businesses like Rainbow Grocery, which is a step in the right direction, have to charge high prices for food. I guess we all need to make choices on what we spend money on, but unfortunately there are those that can’t afford good food.

Like John Lennon sang, “you might call me a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”. I also hope you join us dreamers by helping us feed people in need and working together to build a magical garden in our neighborhood that demonstrates to people how to grow food in our back yards.

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