Monday, September 24, 2012

Turning Over a New Leaf

The Free Farm is changing seasons and and most of the summer harvest is gone (we are still harvesting the summer tomatoes) so we are having less to harvest. Here is a photo from the Free Farm Stand in the Mission of the one large onion we grew and a big zucchini from our second planting of summer squash. In the photo there are also some small trombone squash that we are still harvesting.

We have also been harvesting Pepino dulce and the last of the rocoto peppers (we love perennial plants from the Andes)
I didn't photograph the over forty pounds of leeks we harvested nor the raspberries or strawberries that are going strong. Nor did aI get a shot of the beautiful Brussels Sprout plant we pulled in about 6 plants had large enough to harvest sprouts. In fact , I didn't take photos at all at the last few workdays, because I get too busy trying to keep all the volunteers busy.

The leaves haven't started falling off our trees yet and in fact we still have unripe peaches on our late peach John Muir. Also, the fruit on our fig hasn't ripened yet and the sunchokes are getting close to harvesting. But fall is coming or maybe it is here and it's time to turn over a new leaf.

Please come by and help us get the the winter vegetable plants in the ground. We have a lot of cabbage, beets, lettuce, and carrots that need planting.  In October we will plant garlic and fava beans too. Plus the greenhouse keeps us busy as well growing the seedlings not only our farm and Alemany Farm needs, but we support  other gardens and gardeners around the city. 
Here is a notice from Esperanza Gardens whom we grow seedlings for:

Next SUNDAY, SEPT 30th from 12pm to 5pm...... We will be having a beautiful gathering at Esperanza Gardens. There will be musicians from Zambaleta performing, the cob oven cooking up pizzas with garden grown veggies, and fall/winter seedlings to put into the Earth. But the most important thing is that you will be sharing and participating in all these activities with new and old friends, out doors, in the lovely mission district. As we transition into fall and winter we need to be reminded of our community, our friends, our support! This is an event not to be missed.  Check out the flyer for this event on Facebook. If you would like to perform or volunteer with set up, cooking, break down, please contact me directly at ESPERANZA GARDENS Florida ST btwn 18th and 19th SUNDAY, SEPT 30th 12pm to 5pm .....Also, the garden is open to the public every Wednesday from 3 to 5pm. Come on by. If you would like to garden other days please just let me know!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Going Steady

We are going steady at the Free Farm with Mother Earth, Sister Soil, Brother Bug, Bee, and Bird. At the same time the Free Farm is going steady. This picture of our seedling collection sitting outside the greenhouse,  baby plants toughening themselves off for the real deal of life in the farm fast lane says it all. Plus one of our Free Farmers, Pancho who is in the photo completes the story of  what makes the Free Farm tick, it is the hands of many great volunteers with a passion to grow food for those in need.
This is going to be quickie in terms of writing this week. I am about to take of for the The National Heirloom Exposition being held in Santa Rosa ( It is being held in conjunction with the California Rare Fruit Growers Festival of Fruit which I love going to when I can. These kinds of events are where I learn the most, by meeting other plant enthusiasts, especially on tours of quirky gardener's home gardens and orchards. Last year I also scored some really beautiful squash that we gave away at the stand.

The Free Farm is growing well and we seem to be in transition. There are a lot of beds opening up and we are working hard to get plants in for the winter season.  So the greenhouse is busy as well as outside the greenhouse as we plant, plant, plant, and prepare beds.

Last week we had a wonderful visit from the Thomas Wang and his City College students He is the new City College teacher of horticulture who luckily replaced Pam Pierce and kept her class going.  It was nice having him around, I learned a lot walking around with him and his class, giving him a tour and the same time learning the names of flies and weeds. Here is a weed I have been wondering about...he called it horse weed:

I looked it  up it's scientific name is  Conyza canadensis (in the Sunflower Family: Asteraceae). Also know as mare's tale. I love knowing what is growing in our garden. While looking this up I found this guy who has made all these cool and educational videos and he made one about this:
Herre we are checking out the lovage:
Here are some pictures from the week before...we had a huge harvest:
 Stanley weighs it all
 some of the stuff on our cart to give away
 a handsome cabbage
Two announcements:

My friend that teaches at USF and is a wonder woman in all the great things she does in promoting urban agriculture and homesteading sent me this flier. The meal has vegan options and she thinks it is vegetarian too. The Farm Stand is "by donation and covers the ingredients not available to us in our garden and needed to cook the fare at our farm stand and the free dinners. No one is ever turned away for lack of funds."

Then there is the Human Be In:
Pancho and I are doing a skillshare and despite the title ( I like it  but is only part of  what I want to share), I will hopefully be talking about how to start a karma yoga type project and make it work.)