Monday, March 2, 2009

The Invisible Gardener

There is an invisible gardener tending his/her garden which we are all a part of. I am so excited right now with the love that is planted in this garden and that with a little tending and care is growing so abundantly. And this crop is available to all to harvest for free.

To speak more plainly this is almost like the summer of love cycling around again. What is cool is I keep meeting people whose hearts and ideals are very beautiful and they are doing such great work to make their dreams come true.

Jonathan is one man that I have just become friends with who really blows me away. He works at the Pe'ah Garden in Colma ( Here is what their website says: By growing food for those in need at our cemetery in Colma, Congregation Emanu-El members perform the mitzvah of feeding the hungry. "Our garden name, Pe'ah (corners), derives from Leviticus 19, which commands us to not harvest the corners of the field but to leave them for the poor and the stranger…Our harvest is donated to the San Francisco Food Bank." He recently has gotten involved with SFglean and has already hit the streets, flyers in hand, looking for neglected fruit trees that need picking. I actually got the title of this blog from the movie he made about their garden project.

The Free Farm Stand this week was also a love fest in the rain. Three people came up to me to tell me how much they appreciated the produce, that it made a big difference in their lives. I also got a number of sincere hugs from people that felt the same joy I was feeling. It was raining, not hard, during the entire farm stand, but I swear there was an incredible sunshine from most everyone that came by. I can't really explain it, but I think I felt so blessed to have such a great crew of friends to work with and people to serve.

The produce on the table was doing its part to send out a bunch of vegetable love to those who came by. I had the biggest amount of salad mix that I picked from two gardens (the Secret Garden and Treat Commons). Three people from San Francisco State helped me cut the salad mix and some greens and we were all impressed with how much food we got from such a small space. The lettuce lawns are producing a lot of salad right now. We also had more fava bean leaves from 18th and Rhode Island. I tried stir frying some with olive oil and garlic and they are a lot like spinach…maybe a bit fibrous or chewy. But very tasty. Steve and his friend (I am having a senior moment and am forgetting her name) from Potrero del Sol brought some various herbs from their garden plot and more tree collard cuttings for me to root. Tom came down from Santa Rosa with two crates full of the most beautiful Meyer lemons. The farmer's market leftovers included young onions, turnips, arugula, cilantro, stir fry mix, fennel, radicchio, small Savoy cabbages, leeks, small cauliflower, and various herbs. We had a lot of bread too and almost all the food was given away.

On Tuesday night Jenny and I went over to San Francisco State and talked to the Eco Students club about the Free Farm Stand. I wound up getting a list of 14 students that want to volunteer sometime with the stand. Then the fun started on Friday when we had a great work day at 18th and Rhode Island. I enjoyed working with everyone who showed up. We got the "ivy hill" shaped and ready to sheet mulch next Friday. We also, cleaned up our storage area and now have various piles of manure, compost, mulch, and soil all stacked up under a tarp. Things are looking good. We also planted two varieties of short day or June bearing strawberries (Camarosa and Chandler).

'ivy hill" ready for sheet mulching next Friday workday

organic materials for making potato towers

some of the great crew on Friday

On Saturday I had three people who helped me plant seeds. The cold frame is full and I am ready to pot up seedlings to make room for the new seeds that will sprout soon.

SF Glean has a redesigned web page ( and yesterday Page and Margaret walked around our neighborhood with flyers and looked for fruit trees that needed harvesting. Another project to get excited about.

1 comment:

Andy Lopez Invisible Gardener said...

Nice article and excellent work.

I do want to point out that you should not get attahed to using The Invisible Gardener name since I own that name.
Just letting you know as I have not told folks in the past and they sudenntly decided that they were the owners.
or my new site at

Andy Lopez
Invisible Gardener