Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rainy day feast for the eyes

As the weather forecast calls for rains this week and next, how can we stay connected with nature while indoors? Let’s take a field trip to Golden Gate Park!
Librarian Lia looks out into the beautiful SF Botanical Garden from the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture (http://www.sfbotanicalgarden.org/library/index.html) in Golden Gate Park. As northern California's most comprehensive horticultural library, it houses approximately 27,000 volumes and 350 plant/garden periodicals. So many non-circulating books, so little time but . . .starting this Sunday (March 18), the Library will expand its operations to open Wednesdays to Mondays, 10 am–4 pm (restoring two days that were cut in 2010). Woo Hoo!!! The Library also plans to begin circulating its collection of 1,600+ children’s books in the near future.

At The Free Farm, we’ve always planted insectary mixes to attract beneficial insects. With a recent donation of pots, we’re planting ornamental flowers like bachelors button, dahlia, poppy, tulip, etc. What to do with cut flowers? Check out deYoung Museum, which just began its 5-day “Bouquets to Art” (http://bouquetstoart.famsf.org/) showcase of 150 floral exhibits interpreting artworks from its permanent collection.
And finally, come join us during our Wednesday and Saturday volunteer days in The Free Farm’s warm greenhouse, where we can always plant seeds and fertilize seedlings! We have seeds to grow kale, cardoon, leek, chard, collard, spinach, squash, cucumber, bean, tomato, basil, lettuce, flower, etc. If there’s a break in the rain, take a meditative stroll in our lovely labyrinth!

Public Service Announcements:

Wed., Mar. 14, 2012 Celebrate Pi Day

Thurs., Mar. 15, 2012, 7-9:30 pm "YERT" (Your Environmental Road Trip)
Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave, near Dwight Way, Berkeley
50 States. 1 Year. Zero Garbage? Called to action by a planet in peril, three friends hit the road - traveling with hope, humor, and all of their garbage - to explore every state in America (the good, the bad...and the weird) in search of the extraordinary innovators and citizens who are tackling humanity's greatest environmental crises. As the YERT team layers outlandish eco-challenges onto their year-long quest, an unexpected turn of events pushes them to the brink in this award-winning docu-comedy. Featuring Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Will Allen, Janine Benyus, Joel Salatin, David Orr, and others. Join us for a screening of this feature length film, followed by discussion with the film's producer and star, Mark Dixon.

Sun., Mar. 18, 2012, 11am Tree Tour of Rhododendron Dell in Golden Gate Park
Friends of the Urban Forest invites you on a free two-hour walking tour of the Rhododendron Dell in Golden Gate Park. It was built in the 1940s as the original entrance to the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and features one of the favorite plants of longtime park superintendent John McLaren. Though the dell was damaged by storms a few years ago, it has recently been remodeled.
James McCormick of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department will lead us through this less-frequented portion of the park. Meet at the John McLaren statue on the south side of J.F. Kennedy Drive, just west of the Conservatory of Flowers (see http://spotsunknown.com/golden-gate-parks-rhododendron-dell/).
Following the tour, two gardeners will lead a hands-on demonstration of how to prepare the Rhododendron Dell for spring, including the form-pruning of juvenile specimens, dead heading (the removal of spent blooms), fertilizer application, and planting. This is chance for people of all skill levels to learn "in the field."
SPACE WILL BE LIMITED, so please RSVP to Sarah Campbell at sarah@fuf.net.
Public transportation: Muni 5 and 44 buses.

Tues., Mar. 20, 2012, 6-8 pm American Way of Eating and the People Who Feed Us
Port Commission Hearing Room, 2nd floor, Ferry Building on Embarcadero at Market St., SF
Join CUESA for a conversation between Tracie McMillan, journalist and author of the recently released book The American Way of Eating, and Sandy Brown, co-owner of Swanton Berry Farm. After going undercover to labor in the fields of industrial farms, stock groceries at Walmart, and work in the kitchen at Applebee’s, McMillan--called "a voice the food world needs" by the New York Times--has some eye-opening tales to tell about the inner workings of the corporate food system. Swanton Berry Farm’s Sandy Brown, who is also a UC Berkeley graduate student researching farm labor and fair trade certifications, will talk with McMillan about labor, privilege, politics, and eating in America.

Wed. Mar. 21, 2012, 6-7 pm Taste What You're Missing
Omnivore Books on Food, 3885a Cesar Chavez St., SF 94131Link
A seasoned food developer, Barb Stuckey reveals that much of what we think we know about how taste works is wrong. And the truth is much more fascinating—for instance, your tongue is not divided into quadrants for sweet, sour, salt, and bitter and only a fraction of what you taste happens in your mouth. As Stuckey explains how our five senses work together to form “flavor perceptions,” she tells intriguing stories about people who have lost the sense of smell or taste and the unexpected ways their experience of food changes as a result.

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