Monday, March 18, 2013

Farming Friendships

I thought I would do something different this week. I want to write about the Free Farm Stand and the Free Farm since both projects are so connected. And both projects are a blast, though this week it was especially fun being at both places. Both projects are about making and keeping in touch with friends.

To me it is pretty amazing how much produce we have been harvesting at the Free Farm this last month. I knew we put a lot of greens into the ground at the end of last year, but I didn't realize how productive they would be. We have now grown about 9,000lbs of produce at the farm. It has actually been a bit frustrating that we have had so many greens that we haven't been able to get them all harvested yet.  Between keeping the greenhouse well stocked with new starts/seedlings and planting out things that are ready go in the ground, we have been a bit shorthanded on Saturdays when we harvest things.

Farming is a lot of work there is no doubt. My two friends at Little City Gardens talk about this on their blog (  and how they are scaling back their efforts this year and focusing on growing less variety and more perennial crops. Of course they are trying to make a living farming and they sell their  stuff,  a pressure we fortunately do not have.

Farming  and growing gardens is something that is so needed in cities right now for all kinds of reasons that most of us know about. The challenge that we all seem to share is how to find time to get soil on our hands and under our fingernails and at the same time live in a city that has too high of rents and everything costs a lot.

My solution has been to create real community like churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples do.  Ideally I think we need to live together and share income, but perhaps we can start moving in that direction by moving away from engaging in commerce among each other, sharing resources, helping friends and strangers when we can. We need to build a community based around generosity and compassion.

 my two little friends who came out to farm
 perpetual chard doing great

 lettuce, collards, and chard oh my!
 the sweet peas planted in October are delicious

the labyrinth needs attention
we have been using the solar oven more now that the sun is higher in the sky
Here are some pictures from the Sunday Free Farm Stand:
 the red kale was really beautiful
 super sugar snaps
 this lettuce was from Alemany Farm
two of our lovely volunteers with oxalis flower bouquets

Yoga is coming to the farm starting this Wednesday. One of our volunteers is going to lead those interested in getting stretched out before we begin farming.  It will start at 9am in the morning and end around 9:45am. Bring a mat if you can.

Here is a link to an inspiring video that a volunteer sent me."Gardens build community. Period". Last week I posted on the Free Farm Stand blog a TED Talk featuring Ron Finley that was was also great (I enjoy his one liners).