Monday, July 30, 2012

Holy Shit!

Carmen who has been writing our blogs forever has not been able to come to the Free Farm on Saturdays and so there hasn't been her wonderful updates here in a while. I myself get so busy when I am at the farm, it's hard for me take photos when I am there nor report on all the amazing work going down these days. We are at the peak of summer abundance and the amount of food we have harvested has been unreal and the flowers are off the hook.  Besides that we get the most beautiful volunteers and visitors dropping in at the farm and I feel so grateful for the flow...the flow  of people power streaming through the farm gate. That is what it makes it possible to grow over 7,000 pounds of vegetables since 2010 and to give them to people in need.

One thing that was especially beautiful on Saturday was that it was Joyce's birthday. She is our official greeter at the gate and she makes everyone happy with humor and warmth. She in my opinion is the star in the movie about the Free Farm to the right on the sidebar. What was so special is that Christina brought a delicious vegan chocolate cake she baked and we all sang Happy Birthday. It really felt like the Free Farm was a family affair.

As an urban farmer I love free horse manure for making compost to feed our soil. As you might know I have been trying for months to organize a trip to the stables to get us a big load of it for the farm. It finally happened a week ago thanks to Sander who drove a rented 12ft stake bed truck to the Oakland stables and had it filled by tractor. When he came back three or four of us unloaded it for a number of hours and it was probably the most amount of horse poop I have ever shoveled (Pancho figured it was 4,000lbs of poop). Now let the growing really begin!

Below are a few pictures of some recent activity at the Free Farm. It doesn't come close to sharing all the fantastic work going on there and I highly recommend dropping by sometime and joining in on the fun...there are activities for all skill levels...from lots of grunt work to work up a sweat to planting seeds in the greenhouse. We will also train you if you want to learn farming/gardening so you can take on more responsibilities (that is what we are missing most these days is workday leaders).

Recently we got a small garden grant from Kaiser who is a health care company who is a  leader in promoting healthy diet and gardening. They gave us funds to buy seeds and supplies and we are going to be having a special work this Saturday August 4th with employees from Kaiser. We will be planting lots of starts not only for our farm and Alemany Farm, but also to give away to individual gardeners and other gardens. The event will begin early at 9am with a couple of speakers and also Supervisor Olague who is a big supporter of urban agriculture will be there. We would love to have a lot of people attend this special workday to show  support for the work we are doing, since at some point down the line (maybe 2 to 3 years) we may have to find a new home which is going to be a challenge to say the least.
manure love

our bulletin board 
meditating in the morning before the workday
the container garden
the farm in it's glory
new trellis for our climbing trombone squash
trellis building crew
preparing new bed for carrots and squash
some of the plenty we harvested
these folks from a Baptist church
 dropped in from Waco, Texas to help out

Also, check out our blog at to read and see where some of the Free Farm produce goes to in the Mission.

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