Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Free Farm Plants Inspiration at Outside Lands

Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival took place in Golden Gate Park August 10-12 to a sold-out crowd of 195,000 people.

With a line-up including bands like the Foo Fighters, Neil Young, and Metallica, there was something for every musical taste. And for the times in-between sets, there were many attractions scattered throughout the park. 

One attraction, Eco Lands, invited The Free Farm to participate in their Urban Gardening section and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to get people excited about urban farming.

Little Pots with Big Impact

Our project was showing people how to make origami pots out of newspaper and plant vegetable seeds in them. They could either take the pots home or leave them with us to plant at The Free Farm. 

Erk (one of our fantastic volunteers) waiting to show people how to fold. He practiced at home until he could fold like nobody's business.
Here are the instructions on how to fold the pots. They are very easy to make and are a great way to use up all those old Examiners.
People really seemed to enjoy getting their hands dirty.
We had several different seeds to choose from so folks could plant what they liked best. These girls are planting kale.
K (another amazing volunteer) showing someone how to fold a pot.
The beer in his hand may have made the folding challenging but he was determined to make a pot. As K said: "I think it changed his life." 
Our involved, interactive project gave people a chance to take a pause from all the  high energy in the crowds and really, isn't farming all about the slow process anyway?  These two are interested in volunteering at The Free Farm.  We hope to see them soon.
It was great to exchange stories about urban farming. The woman on the right was visiting from Alaska and wants to pursue urban gardening there. Maybe she'll use newspaper origami pots for her seedlings.
It was fun to see the surprise on people's faces when they'd open up the newspaper  and it was transformed into a pot.

Zero Waste, Maximum Magic

In the true spirit of Eco Lands, not only did we not create any waste with our project but we also managed to up-cycle materials that were otherwise headed for the waste stream. Old t-shirts and coffee sacks were used to make the paper we hand printed with the history and contact info for The Free Farm.

Thank you to our many volunteers who committed their energy to create a magical Free Farm experience at Outside Lands – the photos here give just a glimpse of the fun and community building that happened over the weekend. 

And of course, anyone can get the full Free Farm experience by joining us on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM and the first Sunday of the month from 10:00 AM to noon at Eddy and Gough! Click "Get Involved" in the main menu above to learn more.  

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