Saturday, January 14, 2012

small world

it's a world of laughter, a world of tears
it’s a world of hopes, it’s a world of fears
there’s so much that we share
that it’s time we're aware
it’s a small world after all
“it’s a small world” lyrics by the Sherman Brothers

Peace on Earth: Another warm, dry, sunny winter day at The Free Farm. Is Kris performing a Rain Dance? Lovely greeters Pia and Joyce welcome visitors.

Think Global, Eat Local

Seeing our friendly greeters Pia and Joyce made me think of a recent article about the World’s Friendliest Countries because The Free Farm would certainly qualify if it were a country ( Based on the largest global survey of expats, the top 5 friendliest countries were English-speaking: New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada and United States. Friendly criteria included “ability to befriend locals, success in learning the local language, capacity for integrating themselves into the community, and ease in which they fit into the new culture.” Building friendly community is natural when we’re growing and eating food together at The Free Farm. And it's so much fun hosting visitors from all over the world!

Corey waters thirsty plants. Page and workday leader Hannah sport cool sunglasses.Busy harvest weighing station with Ro, Terence, Hannah and Getup interns Andrew and Christina. Artist couple from Rhode Island return to The Free Farm! John adds greens to compost pile while Jordan and Ro discuss aquaponics. Alen harvests herbs in labyrinth area. Andrew and Terence weigh harvested greens for The Free Farm Stand. Terence, who recently moved to San Francisco from Baltimore, noticed The Free Farm while riding the UCSF shuttle along Gough Street and joined us today for some urban farming fun in the sun! Tree, Alen and Christina discuss cookies for upcoming volunteer party; by popular demand, Alen will bake ScharffenBerger chocolate chip cookies!
Permaculture gardener Toos from Amsterdam stopped by The Free Farm to volunteer during her vacation! She suggested that we plant onions/leeks with our strawberries as they're good companions. Wow, look at all the different plants that can be grown in containers! Margaret painted colorful container plant signs: lettuce mix, borage, calendula, comfrey, rosemary, chives, marigold, mint, nettles, etc.Totally awesome volunteers take well-deserved lunch break . . . while I head out to Our Daily Bread: Eat-in with Deep Waters Dance Theater at CounterPULSE in response to this irresistible invite: ”Eat -In! Call in Hungry! Take off of work and reclaim your right to have time to eat a home cooked meal! We will cook, eat and engage in conversation and dialogue about how to eat home cooked meals on a regular basis. Share your insights and wisdom along with invited Food activists and artists who will be sharing their knowledge and wisdom on these issues. Food, music, good conversation.” began our feast with praise and thanks to earth, sea, sun and water, as well as homage to the wisdom, knowledge and experience of all ancestors who figured out how to grow and cook food. Amara, serving Brazilian chicken stew, says: "have reverence for your food and where and how it comes to your table…Let your reverence for your food and the earth it comes out of be more important than whether it is cheap, quick and convenient.”
Home-cooked lunch of cheese corn bread, dumplings, collard greens, black-eyed peas, raw greens, Brazilian chicken stew and rice.
Michael compiles monthly “Broke but not bored in SF” listing of free stuff to do (“peppered with harm reduction propaganda”) on behalf of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. If you’d like to be added to the distribution list, email (Yours truly will follow-up with Michael to get The Free Farm's volunteer days listed.)
Storytelling childhood food memories: mmm, good! Deep Waters Dance ( perform "Gumbo Adobo." Then suddenly I remembered that they performed a selection from “Our Daily Bread” at last year’s People’s Grocery Harvesting Justice fundraiser ( As I get more involved in food justice, I realize it's a small world after all.

Hope to see you soon in our small world at The Free Farm and our not-to-be-missed volunteer party on January 28 (see details below)!

Public Service Announcements:

Mon., Jan. 16, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Alcatraz, Lands End, Presidio, SF
Volunteer in the Golden Gate National Parks at our doorstep and help grow and restore these cherished national parklands. It’s fun, it’s healthy, and it makes a difference — the perfect way to pitch in on a momentous day. Bring the whole family and friends! For more info, please visit

Beginning Tues., Jan. 17, 2012 Tai Chi for Health classes (noncredit)
Various times and locations in SF
Health 5018 Tai Chi Chuan is a stylized form of movement that promotes both mental and physical well-being. This course is an introduction to the Chinese style of exercises known as Tai Chi Chuan, and it will teach the student Yang style Tai Chi form.

Beginning Tues., Jan. 17, 2012 Consumer Ed/Health Nutrition classes (noncredit)
Various times and locations in SF (recommend
HOEC 6122 Practical information, effective strategies, and skills that teach the student how to practice good nutrition, manage personal health, and maintain an active, healthy lifestyle in the later years.

Tues., Jan. 24-.Feb. 28, 2012, 1-3:30 pm Healthier Living Workshop (6-week series)
Stonestown YMCA-Annex-Pracht Rm, 333 Eucalyptus Dr @ 19th Ave, SF 94132
Pre-Registration is required: Contact Elizabeth Bachrad (YMCA) at 415-242-7112 or Shelly Glazer (CCSF) at 415-452-5839

Tues., Jan. 24, 2012, 6-7:30 pm The Language of Flowers
Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., SF 94102
Reading and presentation by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, author of San Francisco Public Library’s January/February 2012 On the Same Page book selection.
Each year, nearly 20,000 young people “age out” of America’s foster care system, and many of them have nowhere to go. Writer Vanessa Diffenbaugh, who grew up in Northern California, has transformed this sad statistic into an extraordinary debut novel.
Set in San Francisco and the Napa Valley, The Language of Flowers tells the visceral and deeply touching story of Victoria, a teen who has been discharged from foster care, leaving her alone and emotionally barricaded. It’s also a compelling story about spiritual hunger and the power of nature—and human connection—to help heal hearts.
Ms. Diffenbaugh will read from her book and discuss her inspiration for the novel, as well as present a slide show about the Victorian language of flowers. She will be joined by Isis Keigwin, CEO of Camellia Network, a national non-profit co-founded by Ms. Diffenbaugh. The mission of Camellia Network is to activate networks of citizens in every community to provide the critical support young people need to transition from foster care to adulthood

Sat., Jan. 28, 2012, 6-10 pm The Free Farm Volunteer Celebration!
St. Mark’s Church, 1111 O’Farrell St. at Franklin, SF (
To volunteer/attend, please contact

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