Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Gift

Wow, we have a rad group of volunteers at The Free Farm! Again, we have two postings to share this weekend—thanks to photographer Kris reporting on the inclusion of our labyrinth in the World-wide Labyrinth Locator, and Stanford intern Tim reporting on yesterday’s workday . . . . or, as Tim calls it:

The Gift

This Saturday’s workday was not a workday. It was a Gift from the Uni-verse (“uni” means “one” and “verse” means “song” – we are all singing one song in this Uni-verse). It was an opportunity to build community in the shared urban space we call the Free Farm and to co-create the shared values of abundance, generosity, simplicity, love, gratitude, and peace on the wonderful planet we call home.

With Pancho directing the play, the actors, a beautiful group of 20 or so volunteers, played, “not worked,” their roles to perfection – harvesting 52 pounds of zucchini and over 100 pounds of yummy produce (or as brother Tom might say “Oishi!” meaning delicious in Japanese), building a new set of stairs from recycled materials, watering the lovely beds and isolated pots, transplanting hothouse seedlings into those beds, containing the incredible growth of the Sweet Millions cherry tomato plants in the hothouses, washing the produce for the 1pm farm stand, helping to share produce at the 1pm Farm Stand, the welcoming visitors through our open doors, cultivating the compost with a “radiculous” amount of radicchio, sharing the tasty vegan lunch of chili, gnocchi, and quinoa, and appreciating the Gift that is.

The reason I say we played all of the above roles rather than worked is that work often implies that we are acting for some sort of achieved purpose or result. Playing, however, implies that we are being, rather just doing (we are called human beings after all)– that the truth of our inspired actions encompasses our being together in an interconnectedness and oneness that far outweighs our individual goals. We were playing in the flow of this abundance, with inspired action not for an end cause, but just to enjoy this Gift of life with a playful demeanor, as a child might swim for fun in a river whose current gently pulls the child along.
In construction: Damon and Kate building a new set of stairs leading from the lower area with the hothouse, toolshed, and office to the shared lunch space. Just as the Farm is always under construction, we are constantly in construction too, renovating ourselves to become more loving and happy people!
This week’s incredible harvest of summer squash and zucchini!
Brittany, Jennifer, and Susannah weighing the produce!
Tom, Pancho, and Rafael washing the produce
Lovely lavender!
The lunch of loving deliciousness!
Weekly Farm Standers picking up their produce!
Laila, her mom and little sister, and me getting ready to water some pole beans
Completed steps! These stairs were still a bit shaky when we tried walking on them, but that’s good! They remind us to tread lightly on the Earth. May we take these new steps to do so.

All of this above is the Gift. Thank you for letting me share it with you.

In love and gratitude,


(Photos above by Kris; Photos below by Wandering Veggie)

Kris arrives with lunch & her camera!
Joyce greets volunteers/visitors with inspiring T-shirt that reads, "It only takes one person to make the difference. Be the one!"

(Note: Tree reported on our July 24th SF ReFresh event at

Public Service Announcements:

Tues., Aug. 2, 2011, 10 am-4:30 pm Conservatory of Flowers: Free Admission Day 100 John F Kennedy Drive, SF 94118
Wicked Plants: Botanical Rogues & Assassins

Tues., Aug. 2, 2011, 7-8:30 pm “Food Stamped” screening
Bernal Heights Public Library, 300 Cortland, SF
GreenStacks and Bernal Outdoor Cinema present Food Stamped, an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. Through their adventures, they consult with members of U.S.Congress, food justice organizations, nutrition experts, and people living on food stamps to take a deep look at America's broken food system. (62 minutes)

Wed., Aug. 3, 2011 at 7-9 pm SF Permaculture Guild meeting with Penny Livingston-Stark
The "Gazebo" at CPMC Davies Campus, Castro between 14th & Duboce, SF
Meet the founder of the Permaculture Institute of Northern California and the Regenerative Design Institute (

Sat., Aug. 6, 2011, 10 am–3 pm, SF Botanical Garden Society’s Summer Gardening Fair
SF Botanical Garden, Golden Gate Park, (near 9th Ave. & Lincoln Way), SF
Gardens thrive in the summer, even in San Francisco! Come learn more about plants and gardening from representatives of local horticultural and conservation organizations. Meet experts from the local horticultural community; Marvel at summer fuchsia & begonias; Experience butterflies up close; See the inside of a beehive. Enter at the Main Gate of San Francisco Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park, near 9th Avenue and Lincoln Way. (Be sure to come to The Free Farm, too, for hands-on gardening practice!)

Sun., Aug. 7, 2011, 11 am–5 pm, Oakland Museum: Free First Sunday
A Walk in the Wild: Continuing John Muir's Journey
Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St. (510) 238-2200
Explore the legacy of John Muir's life and how he continues to influence our relationship with the natural world in this special exhibition presenting both a historical and a contemporary lens on the natural environment of California. Spotlighting the life of the radical environmentalist as well as eight Modern Day Muirs, A Walk in the Wild: Continuing John Muir's Journey highlights Californians currently involved in environmental research and activism—including a Yosemite National Park geologist, a bighorn-sheep biologist, and an Oakland tree-planter/activist. Through interactive, multisensory displays and digital mash-ups, visitors will experience a simulation of Muir's exploration behind Yosemite Falls, his trek from Yosemite to Mount Whitney, and even his night spent in a hollow giant sequoia observing the forest burning around him. Told through OMCA's collections of art, history, and natural science, interactive digital technology, and select loans—journals, manuscripts, and original drawings—the exhibition is a tribute to Muir’s legacy and to the importance of continued environmental stewardship.

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