Saturday, November 12, 2011

Getup, STOP, Bee-ing & Nothingness

Welcome interns from Getup class of 2011! Stanley recruited Andrew & Kim from 2011 Getup class

Each fall, Garden For the Environment’s Gardening and Composting Educator Training Program (Getup) students attend a project planning session to hear from representatives of garden-based projects throughout the City. Last year, Stanley, Sophie and I were among the Getup students who heard about The Free Farm from Getup grad Finn and decided to dedicate our 40 hours of community service with The Free Farm. . . got hooked and still here today!

At this year’s project planning night, Stanley represented The Free Farm and recruited four interns. We were delighted to have Andrew and Kim join us today. After they complete Getup classes next month, they will rejoin us in January to commence their community outreach hours. (Getup grads can be found building the local food movement. Our very own Lauren is profiled at

STOP! In the name of love!

Margaret with Stanford STOP members Vannida, Lily & Nina, plus April from Santa Clara
Founded by Stanford students in 2006, Students Taking On Poverty (STOP) ( is a community service and campus awareness group active in the fight against poverty by focusing on hunger and homelessness. Today, they joined us in growing food to combat hunger.

Bee-ing: “Honey, honey, how you thrill me”
Beekeeper Pam, who lives in neighborhood, will begin extracting small amounts of honey, but no decision on how to distribute this limited resource to non-vegans and those older than 1 year old.

Nothingness: Yoga + Receptive Silence
Pancho and Tree would like to make yoga + receptive silence more consistent practices at The Free Farm. Apparently, these practices have been going on for sometime though I wasn’t aware until Pancho told me and I promptly reported this in our August 6 blog posting. Jet even created signs at our entrance to publicize these pre-workday activities. If anyone is interested in leading yoga + receptive silence at The Free Farm, please contact Pancho or Tree, or

T'is the season for rainwater catchment
Tree reports that we’re getting 11 rain barrels for The Free Farm! You’re welcome to join us for an installation workshop at The Free Farm during our Wednesday workday, November 16. The Free Farm break on Nov. 26
The Free Farm will be closed on Saturday, November 26. However, I plan to update this blog with postings from my participation at this past week’s Food Justice conference so stay tuned!

Greens galore

Pia cooks quince with apples, lemon peel, cinnamon & cloves

Stanley chats with neighborhood regulars

Pia discusses dental issues with dental student Andrew

Majestic magenta

Food First!
When I mentioned that I was leaving The Free Farm early to head over to the Green Festival to check out Frances Moore Lappe, volunteers asked Who?! Frances Moore Lappe’s Diet for a Small Planet (published 40 years ago!) persuaded me to adopt a plant-based diet, which uses fewer resources than animal production so more people can be fed, and is better for the environment and our health. She also founded Food First ( to “eliminate the injustices that cause hunger.”

Frances Moore Lappe talks about her latest book, EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want (

Public Service Announcement:

Sun., Nov. 13, 2011, 5:30-7:30 pm Famine Film & Oxfam Hunger Banquet
David Brower Center, 2150 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Screening of Africa's Last Famine, a co-production of Oxfam America and LinkTV:
Sadly, World Food Day 2011 was marked by one of the worst famines in recent history. But, with the right planning and a few new ideas, it could be the last. This 22 minute film features recent stories from the Horn of Africa and beyond, and including solutions being implemented around the world to prove that hunger isn't inevitable.
Oxfam America Hunger Banquet:
Guests randomly draw tickets when they arrive that assign them to different income levels, based on the latest statistics about the number of people living in poverty. While not all guests leave with full stomachs, many will gain a new perspective on the root causes of hunger and poverty-and will feel motivated to do something to help.
Everyone on earth has the same basic needs; it is only our circumstances- where we live and the culture into which we are born-that differ. Some are born into relative prosperity and security, while millions, through no choice of their own, are born into poverty.
We are all tied to a global food system that is broken. Yet there is a strong and growing movement of individuals and organizations working to repair and improve the system. In a world facing the challenges of the current famine in East Africa, constrained land and water, and an erratic climate, one of the best ways to combat global food insecurity is to invest in farmers and remove the barriers that limit their productivity. Please join us to learn more about the issues, the solutions, and how you can help!

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