Saturday, May 5, 2012

Fly like an eagle

Page as the outlaw, inspired by

I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
Till I'm free
Oh, Lord, through the revolution

Feed the babies
Who don't have enough to eat
Shoe the children
With no shoes on their feet
House the people
Livin' in the street
Oh, oh, there's a solution
“Fly like an eagle” lyrics by Steve Miller

On Fridays at noon, my office offers tai chi classes. Yesterday, we did several sets of “fly like an eagle” (, and the dreamy song of the same title has played like an earworm since.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, food and movement are keys to good health. At The Free Farm, we’re super healthy as we improve access to good food while we do lots of movements! Because May is Asthma Awareness Month (, it’s a kind reminder of how movement can help health conditions ( Asthma is a Metal (lung) condition and the bird in flight movement (such as flapping one’s arms) stimulates the lung channel, as it involves deep abdominal breathing exercises that strengthen the lungs by pulling energy into the body (

At The Free Farm today, my abdominal muscles got a terrific workout from laughing so hard because either I’m so easily amused or my fellow Free Farmers are really funny, tehe :O). And maybe I was giddy because we completed construction of our garden table!!! Check out our movements below :-)
We started assembling the table's legs first. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires a minimum of 27" for wheelchair access, so we decided on 28" for leg height.  Page told us these drill guns changed his life, and his use of them to create our garden table will change the lives of many, confined to wheelchairs or physically unable to bend down, who now will be able to garden comfortably at waist level. Woo-hoo!
Preparing for noisy drill
Jessica and Wendy provide support to Damon and Page
Instead of mesh bottom allowing for water drainage as provided in blueprint by Manatee Master Gardeners, Page brought plywood that was placed together with another scavenged piece to line the table.
Admiring our assembled garden table
We took turns drilling holes through the plywood to provide water drainage, and wrote our names around the holes
Turning table upright
Tree joins in admiring garden table
Farmstand cart will be relocated to make way for our new garden table! Joyce holds up new book, Independent for Life:  Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America, autographed by co-editor Margaret (
Tree carries leaves over to Jordan for washing
Jessica paints exterior of table top frame blue (heaven), while Patrick paints legs yellow (earth). Blue and yellow are the paint colors most available, and match our handrail.
Stanford volunteers with Alemany farmer John and Tree (wearing "YES VE GAN!" shirt from SF Vegetarian Society's World Veg Festival)
Harvesting strawberries
Tom does some weeding in labyrinth
Visiting mother and child with dog
Our beautifully painted garden table worthy of A+ grade! If we can get enough paint colors, we might decorate with beneficial ladybugs and/or flowers paired with their pollinators!
Stanley brought delicious lunch spread of salads and roasted cauliflower with tomatoes on side
According to Cornell researchers, a greater contrast in colors between our food and our plates increases our awareness of how much we consume so we may end up eating less (  Despite the lighter colors of Stanley's food contrasting the dark color of this bowl, I paid more attention to my appetite for delicious food and got second helpings :-)
Nao created these lovely leaves printed with photos of Free Farmers
We'll miss Nao who's returning home to Japan for the summer
Monroe holds up poppy seeds
Stanley and former student Wendy are now on first name basis :-)

Please join us on our next volunteer workday for another movement-packed day of asthma relief!  Breathe deeply and may your qi flow!

Public Service Announcements:

Sun., May 6, 2012, 10:30 am, Storytime + Garden Walk
Helen Crocker Russell Library, SF Botanical Garden, 9th Ave. at Lincoln Way, SF
Starting in May, storytime will be held on the first and third Sunday of each month. We’ve had our share of April showers, so May’s books are all about flowers. Our featured book, Princess Chamomile’s Garden, is all about mouse-princess Chamomile and her quest to plant her own garden on the royal grounds. This book will get children thinking about planning and growing a garden of their own.
SFBG Society Director of Youth Education Annette shows ghost leaf during garden walk

Tues., May 8, 2012, 11 am to 2 pm, SF Community Water Walk
Gather at 10:30 am at Stairwell #20 at Ocean Beach, adjacent to Great Highway, SF
Doctor of Traditional Medicine and Grandmother Water Walker Mona Stonefish will lead Ceremonial Water Walk promptly at 11 am.  The Water Walk reminds us of the Sacredness of water and creates an awareness of our responsibility to care for the water.  The Water Walk reminds us of our Sacred Connection with the Water and our responsibility to maintain our wellness in the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual areas of our lives.  It brings us together in a good way reminding us of the importance of a healthy community.  All are welcome and encouraged to participate in and to support the Water Walk Ceremonial.  For more information, please contact Michele Maas at (415) 503-1046 ext. 2712, email, or Aurora Mamea at (415) 621-4371 ext. 593, email
I realize this blog is commercial free, but I can't resist posting this flyer of CCSF Environmental Horticulture and Floristry Department's Spring Flower and Plant Sale fundraiser on Thurs., May 10, 2012, 11 am to 3 pm, on Judson Ave. (north side of Ocean campus).  For more information, call 415-239-3236 or 415-239-3140.

Thurs., May 10, 2012, 7:30-9 pm, Urban Tree Ecology with Ted Kipping
Randall Museum Theater, 199 Museum Way, SF 94114.
Come learn about what trees are naturally adapted to and what we subject them to in our biologically depauperate urban environment. This talk will change the way you view the trees of San Francisco! For more information, contact Patrick Schlemmer at or (415) 225-3830.

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