Monday, June 23, 2008

A Mellow Farm Stand

Today I am not going to write much about yesterday's Free Farm Stand. I am anxious to get out into the garden and work. I will say it was a nice mellow day and it didn't seem as busy as last week, though a good number of people came by and I did give away all the produce. I often don't know what I am going to have to harvest and give out from week to week, and similarly I never know who is going to show up. I was pleasantly surprised and happy that a number of friends came by, some whom I hadn't seen in a while. I am glad my friend Tony from the east bay came by. He speaks some Spanish and like I have said before it makes a huge difference having people that can explain what is going on. His impression is that a lot of people are pretty shy about taking food, that it is a really unfamiliar experience for them...a table with beautiful fresh produce all for free. But once he started talking to people they got more comfortable and took stuff. And it is great to turn people onto foods they are not familiar with like the sunflower greens. Maria my elderly neighbor who used to come and help at the Comida del Arte Pantry I helped run a number of years ago showed up (I ran into her on the street and told her about this project and told her to come by). I think she thought it was funny that I was telling her all the food on the table is local and organic. She said in El Salvador all the food is organic, unlike here. I wonder if that is true. She offered to bring a number of things to share including her hot sauce that she makes (I think it is vegan).

The Big One Event

I went to the Big One event on Saturday in Golden Gate Park. It was a two day event (I don't know how it went Sunday). There were more speakers that I wanted to hear speak on Sunday than on Saturday, but I met a lot of great people anyway. It was sort of the ultimate networking event. I made contact with the Slow Food Nation people, Jonathan with the Biodiesel Sustainable Road Show, and a whole lot more people that were all doing such great and inspiring work. I do feel that San Francisco may be in for another beautiful cycle of time where hope and good things bloom again.

One of the best things that happened is that I have some new leads to follow up in terms of getting a place to start a Free Farm Stand Farm. We will see where things go. Yes it was great to meet people that have similar goals and who want to work with each other is some way.

The Intern Idea

I like the way City Slicker Farm in West Oakland has interns that help run their program. I am thinking of trying to find an intern or apprentice that would help grow food for the farm stand and to learn urban farming at the same time. A friend who I saw at the Big One thought it was a good idea and said I have something to teach (I am not sure if he said what I have to teach, and I don't know if I really am or can be a teacher, but I have been growing food for a while, and would be excited to share what I love so much, i.e. urban farming)

Two Photos

The table always looks great and people enjoyed the dried poppy heads...especially the kids when I shook out the poppy seed from the heads and explained to them that you can eat the seed.

I especially like all the kids that come by the farm stand. They are so curious and I am surprised how much they are interested in eating vegetables or at least trying out some of the things on the table they may not be familiar with.

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