Monday, February 20, 2012

Our Congregation Grows

Below is an Free Farm update that I posted over at the Free Farm Stand web site Unfortunately there was no way I could take photos of all the activity going on as I was just trying to keep things flowing.

"What is most exciting to me these day is happening over at the Free Farm more so than at the Free Farm Stand..Over at our Free Farm at Gough and Eddy we have been gearing up for a lot of great farming activity this year. We are collaborating with Alemany Farm and will be sharing the greenhouse with them and hopefully churning out lots of starts, not only for both farms, but to share with other gardeners in the city. Today I got together with Dan from Spiral Gardens in Berkeley and gardeners from Alemany Farm. He us a generous and legthy consultation on growing seedlings on a large scale and I learned so much! I can’t wait to start planting. At our last Saturday working day it was like a bee hive there with all the activity going on. I pretty much finished an accurate map of the farm and Monisha and I and Christina have calculated the square feet we have to plant in and entered information on what is happening with each bed in a newly designed log/chart.

There was the buzz of saws and drills as Byron worked with John from Alemany Farm in building more greenhouse benches. We also had a large crew from Stanford (some of our wonderful students and interns from last year including Brittany and Timothy who also helped a lot at the Stand). Not only did they bring gleaned citrus fruit, they helped harvest and also dug trenches to bury the rest of the electrical pipe we were installing to finish the electrical to the greenhouse.  We had our first real harvest of snap peas which were planted in October (I think about 4 pounds) and the hot peppers in the hothouse are still producing peppers.

One of the most wonderful things happening at our farm/sanctuary without walls is the continued appearance of new congregation members…besides the stream of human visitors we have been blessed with the visiting of a big fluffy hawk. We have seen this hawk coming down from the tall building next door or the flag pole and hanging out in the farm itself, sitting on the potato tower or on the  scarlet runner bean trellis. In other words, the bird is becoming friendlier. Here is a picture of the hawk flying just over head as it took off from the potato tower on Wednesday."
On Sunday March 4th Stanley from the Free Farm and Congregation Emanu-El  will open the farm from 10am-noon (they open the farm every first Sunday of the month). Apparently a member of the Congregation also runs a company that sells an organic fertilizer ( . They are bringing some of their staff to volunteer and to donate some of their product for us to try out.

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