Saturday, July 10, 2010

Carling's Post

It was on Wednesday of February 3rd, 2010 that I first experienced the giving spirit and passionate vision of The Free Farm. During my visit, I was pleasantly surprised to recognize so many friends that I had met through other avenues such as the Free Farm Stand, the Metta Center and the Mobilization for Climate Justice. Upon cycling up to the soon-to-be urban food oasis for the first time, I knew instantly that this was not only just a project that I wanted to be a part of, but also a community and a movement with which I was ready to connect.

I've been regularly volunteering at The Free Farm ever since my first experience there. Every week I'm lured in by the thoughts of getting my hands dirty, harvesting a bounty of beautiful produce, meeting new volunteers and enjoying a delicious home made vegan lunch.

This past Wednesday was my first day on the farm in a month and a half. I just returned from a bicycle journey along the Pacific Coast starting in Vancouver, British Columbia and finishing back home in San Francisco. The pedal powered tour was an opportunity for me to explore the northwest without relying on a fossil foolish machine. In addition to experiencing the stunning scenery and meeting wonderful people, I was able to visit a few food production projects along the way. In Olympia, Washington I spent an afternoon at GRuB (, a grassroots non-profit organization dedicated to nourishing a strong community by empowering people and growing good food. GRuB has an amazing youth education and employment program and a well-developed internship program with Evergreen State University. Last year they grew over 12,500 pounds of fresh produce at their farm and donated more than half of it to the Thurston County Food Bank and the farm volunteers. While taking a rest day in Arcata, California I stopped by Deep Seeded Farm (, a 2 year old farm which runs a 160 member Community Supported Agriculture program on only 4 acres. I was welcomed by a family style farm fresh lunch with Eddie, the head farmer, and 6 interns. We spent the meal discussing how to deal with snails and slugs in the garden.

Both GRuB and Deep Seeded Farm were full of positive energy and inspiring people, which made me miss The Free Farm even more. After only one day since returning from my bike tour, I visited The Free Farm eager to see how it had evolved and blossomed in the past month and a half. What a transformation! While I expected to be shocked and refreshed by the beauty of the farm, I was amazed by the bounty of food and dedication of the community. It was great to share smiles with old and new friends and as always lunch was superb! I can't wait to return on Saturday.

[this was sent to me by Carling...Tree]

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