video made by Lori Eanes June 2018There is still plenty of bounty to share and every week I have been giving out avocados from our trees to volunteers and visitors alike. It is winter and there is less produce to give out, but every week I am happy that here in the bay area we have some fruits and vegetables to distribute.
cold hardy bananas growing in our garden since DecemberStarting around 2008 there was an explosion of interest in growing food locally and we were just part of the wave of people interested growing urban farms and gardens and sharing our excitement we were experiencing. We have always seen this movement as a way of building a community of love activists dedicated to transforming society by building alternatives to the world of commerce and dollar exchange. In other words, promoting “free” and doing things for free. Creating a world where we trust the universe to guide us and nurture us. To practice generosity and compassion in our work and in our community. I think this excitement has died down in the city somewhat, but I continue to find inspiration in beautiful projects sort of hidden here and there. These feed my soul in these times when open space seems to be disappearing in our cities and urban farming is becoming less common. Here is an example of a great project happening south of us in the Los Angeles area. In 2010 we created a Free Farm on land lent to us by St. Paulus Lutheran Church, where they once had a beautiful church which burnt down years previously. We thought of it as a church without walls, that our garden and its spirit rose from the ashes of that church and continues a ministry of sowing love and vegetables and fruits. One of our visitors was Rev. Anna Woofenden, an ordained minister in the Swedenborgian Church of North America. When I had dropped out of college in the sixties, I wound up living in a draft resistance commune in a big house owned by some Swedenborgians who were our landlords. I have always felt that they were good people. Anna went on to start the Garden Church (https://gardenchurchsp.org/ ) in San Pedro in 2014, a year after our Free Farm was evicted from our site. I have been following their work since they started and it has always inspired me. I think we need more “churches” or places to worship and places to build community like these. Their garden is the Feed and Be Fed Farm (https://www.feedandbefed.org/). Here is a movie they recently made about their work. I especially like the part about making compost.
The other day I visited with my love warrior friend Pancho who is about to take off from his home in Oakland on March12 to go on the “Camino para la Familia de la Tierra / Walk for the Earth Family 2019 a Beginning, with No End [a walk from the Bay Area to the so called border of Mexico and the U.S.]. In his own word he says “We are living in times of unprecedented global awareness. It is becoming increasingly more evident the different ways in which we impact each other with the choices we make, from the obvious, in our actions, all the way to the subtler level, in the thoughts we have. Unfortunately, we are often surrounded by habits of disconnection and a culture of fragmentation that have great repercussions in the ways we live, and influence our mostly reactions to pain and harm, as opposed to respond with equanimity, love and compassion…Take the example of the current humanitarian crisis at the so called “border” in the parts of the Planet we call Mexico and the U.S.. Unless we address the root causes of the diaspora forcing our sisters and brothers and their children to migrate, we are going to find ourselves reacting to a never-ending loop of emergencies. In the meanwhile, it is our moral responsibility to treat each other, at the very least, with respect to learn each other’s stories. But what if we engage in a long term vision to take fierce care of our grand human family and the Earth Community as a whole? A kind of Overground Railroad** facilitating the collective liberation of each and everyone of us. A path so beautiful that strongly calls our heads, hearts, hands and spirits to participate in a small way to bridge our lives with more joy and harmony. stories. “ “ I asked him what will happen with the Awakin Circle at his home in Oakland (http://www.awakin.org/local/city/oakland) and he told me it will continue. Also Fruta Gift will continue on Sundays. We wrote about this project on January 7, 2016 (https://freefarmstand.org/2016/01/07/heart-to-heart-resuscitation/). Pancho sent me a link about their love work written in Yes Magazine in 2017): FrutaGift article. It is so wonderful when others can step up and help projects keep on running when the main anchor is away. These days we hear politicians talk about a revolution, but the basic revolution starts in our neighborhoods, building communities where neighbors learn to work and support with each other. Where we can harvest and share the bounty together. The world of the internet is amazing: Here is another Free Farm Stand in Poughkeepsie, New York. I am still working on creating the Mission Greenway on the old railroad right of way between Treat and Harrison Streets. It seems magical that this strip of vacant land would be ideal continuation of the park where the Free Farm Stand is every Sunday. After a year of pestering the tax assessor to figure out who the land belongs to (and no taxes are being paid on it), our neighborhood group Friends of the Mission Greenway, is still in the dark. You can visit our webpage and blog https://missiongreenway.org/ for more information. We could use some help in figuring out what to do next….any occupiers out there or should we start tearing the asphalt up and planting trees?