Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Years Update

I just got back in town today from a too short retreat I took in the mountains. I am feeling refreshed and have new energy for the coming year at the Free Farm (and the Free Farm Stand too).

I want to first of all thank everyone from my heart to all you who have made our new farm so successful our first year. Not only did we grow over a ton of food literally, but I feel like we have made so many new friends and met  many of our neighbors who live near the farm. Things are really feeling beautiful these days. Also, I continue to be grateful to St. Paulus Church for lending the use of their property (plus water and electricity) to grow food to feed those in need.

The New Year is already looking like it's going to be off the charts in terms of making more connections and growing more produce. Here are some highlights and dates to keep in mind:

Sunday January 16th
 from 10am- about 4pm is our big Greenhouse Barn raising event that we are working on with Temple Emanu-El. Every year they have a volunteer event in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Service day (which this year is on a Monday but our event will be the day before). They have decided to help us build a greenhouse on that Sunday. It will also be a celebration of 1 year of our Free Farm. Besides building a greenhouse, we will be also building a shed and a multipurpose space, have a lunch, some guest speakers, workshops and activities for kids and adults, labyrinth walks, and possibly some music.

To help us prepare for the event we will be focusing a lot  on doing some construction work at our next workdays Wednesday Jan 5, a special workday Thursday January 6th, and Saturday January 8th. All workdays are from10am-2pm. Also, on Saturday January 15th we will also be at the Farm getting ready for the big day.

I have been getting excited about the things living in our soil and how we can work with the microbiology to help us be more effective growing produce in a sustainable way without fertilizers. I hope to be making some compost extract as soon as our greenhouse is built and up and running (we also will be growing a lot of start/seedlings for the farm and to give away).

On January 19th we will be hosting 12 students from the Jewish Community High School of the Bay.

Also, in January we will be having some new interns come on board who come from the Getup class at Garden for the environment

In April we are going to be involved in a city wide event called SF Refresh (The mission of SF Refresh is to create opportunities for San Franciscans to receive free whole body care in community gardens throughout the city. There website is http://sfrefresh.blogspot.com/). I am personally very excited about this because personally my mental health is directly related to how much I am in the garden or farm.

We are also working on making it easier for people to get involved with our farm project. We now have a rough list of roles and tasks that are available. Roles being jobs that involve being a leader or coordinator of some aspect of the Free Farm and task involve just helping out with some job.  For example we now have a calendar coordinator (Finn) and we have tasks like making a vegan lunch once a month for our volunteer crew.

 We are actually looking for people in the month of January to sign up on our calendar to prepare a lunch in January (or sign up to make a lunch once a month on a regular day...either Saturdays or Wednesdays). If you are interested please contact Finn wildoatsandnettles@gmail.com.

I encourage  everyone to come out and visit us in the new year. Also, if you show up at the Free Farm in the next  week I will have my latest cartoon that I will be handing out. I also will soon have fliers for our event and people can come by the farm to pick one up or contact me.

Here are some of the last photos I took last year at the Free Farm:


our last strawberry harvest
the last of the trombone squash
delicious Empanada from a neighbor made with squash she got from our Saturday Free Farm Stand...unfortunately not vegan and probably with some chicken flavor in it, but a beautiful gesture of sharing
our neighbor who made the Empanada

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