I have been wanting to write about the Free Farm Stand and our new garden project the All in Common Garden for a long time, but I just didn’t know what to write about. I have been feeling pretty gloomy about the state of the world in general these days. I have tried from the beginning of my blogging career to remain upbeat and positive and to focus my writing about issues related to our work at the Stand and in the All in Common Garden. The sadness in the daily news is overwhelming to me these days and I struggle not to get caught up in that stuff. I am so glad the Free Farm Stand has reopened after being closed for three weeks. It takes my mind away from the daily news and gives me fresh air to breathe.
The truth is that yes there is suffering and injustice everywhere, yet there is incredible beauty and mystery, especially if we get closer to nature, if we dig in the soil and gaze at the galaxies and stars. If we devote some of our time to serving and helping others then we can connect with people on the heart level. That will fill us with hope and a belief that we can do something to repair what is broken. We can be peacemakers and that is what is so needed these days.
my holiday card this year
Here is an example of how the work I do picks me up and makes me feel inspired and hopeful. Yesterday at the Stand I met some people visiting from Texas. They were visiting friends in the neighborhood and stumbled upon our scene in the park. I met Tony Diaz and his Librotraficante people that were with him. Tony told me the incredible story about how Arizona enacted a law banning the teaching of ethnic studies in schools. I had no idea this went down. It prohibits courses that “promote the overthrow of the United States government,. are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group, and advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” Tony help start the Librotraficante Caravan in 2012, collecting and “smuggling” banned books back into Arizona. So they were in town to support a 17 year old student who is suing the state of Arizona to overturn the Arizona law in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals here in San Francisco today (Monday). You can read more here. It was great meeting Tony and his friends and we all were excited that they were on the front lines fighting for justice in this almost surreal case. Peacemakers can be troublemakers.
It was also wonderful that we started off the new year at the Free Farm Stand with not only a fantastic volunteer crew, but also with our fantastic neighbors, some who brought surplus from their gardens to share. We actually didn’t have much produce, probably because it is the winter season, but it is great that for San Franciscans, this is the start of the lemon and orange season.
Byron and Erin bring us some lemons
We have also been busy at the All in Common Garden working hard to finish building the greenhouse just in time for the beginning of the planting of spring crops which starts in February. We have the plastic almost all on and we need help hanging a door and trimming it out. This project has really been a community barn raising type event. There have been so many different people that have come by to help out and have helped us in our goal of creating a free garden neighborhood resource center a reality
Gary helped the other day install the window above the door. It was a gray but happy day.
Here are some photos from a number of weeks ago that Dianne took at the Stonestown Farmer’s market where we get our second shift of produce from. This is why we are so grateful and thankful to our farmer friends: