Monday, October 5, 2009

Hello and goodbye harvest moon!

One thing I have been thinking about recently, especially when I am schlepping so many boxes of produce around, is how much abundance there is, at least in my world. Last night I shared with some friends a large kabocha squash that came from the garden on 18th and Rhode Island and it was so delicious. We baked it with some oil and it had a special earthy sweetness that made me feel like I just tasted the fall season. Wonderful things are in abundance everywhere and this blog is really one extended gratefulness prayer for : the beautiful people that help run the Free Farm Stand, the Cinderella Pumpkins that Tom grew and shared with us yesterday (if anyone got one tell me how it tasted), the amazing pears that Lauren and friends picked on Saturday, for produce neighbors brought, for the left-over produce from the Farmer's Market, the pounds of producel from the Permaculture Garden, for the people that come to the stand and help make it a sweet scene, for the Green Gulch donated seedlings and greens that are grown with so much mindfulness and care, for the sweet amaranth seed spread that Sara harvested, made and brought to share with the bread, for so much plenty.

I decided this week to count the number of people in line just when we started letting people shop. We had 45 people in a line that snaked out onto the sidewalk and my guess is that we had at least over a hundred people getting produce yesterday. Although I write about abundance, seasons change and we actually had less produce that we have had in the past. I know next week is Green Gulch's last day at the market and then they stop coming to the market during winter. Our city gardens will be growing less soon and I imagine the same is true of local farmers who come to the market (thus less leftovers for us bottom feeders). Saying all this we still had plenty of produce to share.

I was especially jazzed that Lauren and her roommates went up to Clearlake to glean pears and that she showed up with boxes of red and yellow pears. They were tasty andthe red ones were especially a work of art. Here is what she wrote me just now about the trip:

" Ed (the pear guy) said he had 8 acres of land and there were about 700-800 trees, half, the red and Bartlett, had been picked before we got there, but we still gleaned through there and got probably around 300 lbs of fruit (and there was still more). The half that hadn't been harvested yet were Bosc, which we also picked around 300 lbs. of (I haven't weighed it all yet) were not as ripe (I'm going to bring them next week to the farm stand). The trees were pretty low, although some we couldn't reach the tops of without a ladder, but since there were so many we didn't use ladders anyway, we just picked the lower fruit. We didn't make even a small dent in the amount of trees or fruit that there was. He said we were more than welcome to come back again after they had harvested the rest of the Bosc and glean what they didn't pick. He bought the land a year or two ago I think, and is working on getting certified organic, so the trees haven't been sprayed since 2007. Currently he's breaking even by selling them to a brandy maker. Not sure what his plans are after they go organic."

There were also some boxes of apples that I think Jay came by with from the apple tree in Golden Gate Park (I missed the apple festival held around the lone apple tree there). At least two people brought by lemons to share from trees in their backyard and I just saw a photo of someone with a basket of plums that they must have brought. Nave brought some pears and apples from his parents place in Sebstapol. I was especially tickled that Chris (?) brought by a bucket of lettuces that were grown in the garden next to the California College of the Arts with seedlings they got from the stand.

This is going to be an abundant week for fruitful garden and gleaning work. This Wednesday there are friends of mine going up to Davis to help glean 500 pounds of extra tomatoes from the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility. Here is what the email I got says:

"the field have already been harvested with a machine harvester but more than 500 pounds is still left intact on the vines at the edges of the fields. A group of pre-school and elementary school kids with the Green Moms of Davis will be coming to help pick as well so come help inculcate them about gleaning! Gleaners are welcome to keep the tomatoes they pick and all left-overs will be donated to the food-bank."

If anyone wants to drive up there and pick I can send you more information.

This weekend, both Saturday and Sunday there are two different garden work parties happening. Two women want help putting in gardens in their backyards and want to share some of their surplus produce at the stand eventually. So here is the information:

The first work party is on Saturday October 10 from 10am-3pm at Lisa's backyard 1422 Guerrero Street between 26th and Cesar Chavez St. The Garden Anchor is Catherine ( and for more info you can email her or Tree (

The next work party is Sunday October 11th from 11pm-3pm at Aliza's backyard which is located behind the green door to the right of 529 Dolores near the Dolores Café on 18th St. The Garden Anchors are Jess ( 707-9717 and Rachel (

Things to bring and what is needed

*Vehicle to pick up stuff not suitable for bike cart
* mulch, manure, cardboard
* Someone to fix bicycle cart for moving tools, etc.
* Bring gloves, trowels, and clippers if you have them

* Someone on Sunday that knows how to use a chain saw…a big tree that was cut down needs to be cut up. We have a chain saw.
*Snacks and refreshments to share

I know of two more backyards in the Mission whose owners want gardens to grow food. This is a great opportunity for people who want to garden to have a place to do that and to give back to the community at the same time.

If anyone is interested in getting out of the city and going to Gold Country (Placer County) next Friday or Saturday I am helping to organize an apple picking trip up there. Again contact me for more information.

1 comment:

Cynthia & Dan said...

Hi Tree,

I'll be in the area volunteering with La Cocina until about 1:30. I can't remember when you said you would be at the garden at Parque de los ninos. Write me at cynthiacflock at hotmail dot com and let me know the time again. I think I can swing by and help for a bit.