Monday, June 22, 2009

Apricotting up north

Produce to the People was invited to join an apricot harvest up in Winters on an inherited orchard that is being cared for, rather than farmed, by the family of Susan Boshoven, a biology teacher who has been working on organizing a compost program at Mission High School. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I do love apricots and I'm not sure why but as plum crrrazy as we are here in San Francisco, we just don't have the same fervor for apricots. So I tossed some fruit pickers and ladders into the back of the biodiesel benz, picked up my treehugging friend Sara, and made the hike up north to warmer climates and wider open spaces.

We made it up there mid-day and arrived just in time to share lunch with a lovely group of folks that Tree from The Free Farm Stand had organized. They had been hard at work all morning, but there was still TONS of bounty to be picked after a bit of snacking.

The fruit was quite ripe and ready, so the FFS folks were making use of the "shake and catch" method of picking, when folks hold the corners of a tarp or bed sheet and one person either gets in the tree or grabs the branches from below and shakes like wild while everyone else caches the fruit (and usually ducks and hollers as fruit bounces off their heads). Yeah, it's pretty fun.

Sara and I opted for a bit slower going approach, since it really was a perfect hand picking orchard, we just wandered and picked what we could reach. I maybe just might have climbed a tree or two. maybe.

In the end our harvest was huge, over 300 lbs of super delicious fruit for a few hours of work (not including the 400 some odd lbs Tree's crew brought back to the city, and however many lbs we brought back in our bellies!). All of which would have gone to waste, but instead went to the Free Farm Stand, Martin de Porres, Food not Bombs, and the Empress and Windsor SRO Hotels. PttP does like to focus our energy on what we can do inside the SF city limits, but for a big haul that can feed a whole lot of people beautiful organic fruit, we're willing to step outside the neighborhood every now and again.

p.s. there was a very cute family of wild turkeys also partaking in the bounty. share and share alike!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Park Partner and Youth Program are a go!

YIPEE! I couldn't be more excited to tell you that as of today, Produce to the People is officially a park partner of the San Francisco Parks Trust, making us a totally legitimate non-profit organization! This also means that we are cleared to be a summer worksite with MYEEP, the Mayor's Youth Employment and Education Program! Yay Yay Yay!

Thanks so so much to Maria D'Angelico at SFPT, Kathy Berkman at NIAC, and Sabrina Mutukisna at MYEEP, for all your help and patience with my three million phone calls a day. You're the best!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sweet Success!

Ice Cream to the People was super fun and a fundraising and "getting the word out" success!

I am a million times lucky to have such brilliant and wonderful friends that helped organize, host, contribute and spread the word for this event. And we received donations of goods from so many awesome local businesses, it was really quite a spread. A special thanks to Dawn at El Rio for being so generous with her space, not just to us, but to the community of SF as a whole, and a big giant thank you hug to Gregory B, Chantal, Erin, Jenna, and Little for helping out at the event, for your huge hearts and undying support.

Thanks to everyone who came out, ate ice cream, bought raffle tickets, registered gardens for harvest, and hung around under the lemon tree.

Little and Gregory B. letting folks know about Produce to the People!

Chantal OK holding down the fort up front.

Homemade fruit preserves and herb syrups for ice cream. Yum!

All the amazing raffle goodies! Check out the list on our community partners page, and support folks that support us!

Monday, June 8, 2009

SF Youth Unity Eco Fest

Produce to the People had the opportunity to have a table at the fun and amazing SF Youth Unity Eco Fest, the first youth environmental summit in San Francisco, which was organized entirely by a group of ten totally incredible high school students. The event had a live music stage with a bicycle powered speaker system, workshops by local schools and organizations, a recycled art tree which was updated continuously throughout the day, a bike and skateboarding area, and a 25 organization resource fair (which we had the pleasure of being neighbors with two awesome women from Save the Bay and the Rainforest Action Network). Thanks so much to Courtney Lee from Lowell High School for inviting PttP to participate and for everyone involved for making it such a fun and inspiring day!

Setting up, what a beautiful day!

I made herb lemonade with lemons, rosemary and lavender grown in bernal heights to share with thirsty folks roaming the tables.

This performer was amazing and dj jg was great too! I'm drawing a blank on the performers name, but if anyone knows, please drop me a line so I can give him proper credit.

Pedal power!

I had no idea that some of the student's from Ms. Boshoven's biology class at Mission High School that I had helped build a worm bin would be there teaching a workshop about compost! I was so excited that they were there spreading the good word about worms and all the hard work that's been going on with the MHS garden initiative.

Lots of love for the recycled art tree!

Beautiful! Yay!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Playing Catch-Up

Hi there, friends. I just wanted to stop by and finally get this blog up and running. I've been wanting to write for some time now, but just have been too swamped with all the planning and paperwork (not to mention that actual fruit picking, trust me I am pushing to get as much done now before loquat season gives way to plum season).
Produce to the People has recently gone much more public, spreading the word about our harvesting service and the youth employment program we are working very diligently towards, and is currently just on the horizon ahead. It seems pertinent now just to check in, say hey, and give you a quick quick update.
We have been jumping some hurdles in regards to insurance and fiscal sponsorship, but have both big steps currently pending. If all this goes through, I'll be set to start the Summer Youth Employment Program at the beginning of July. The youth component is really important to me and the part that I hope eventually becomes the center of the harvest and community garden projects. I'm leery to say much more until it's all signed on the dotted line and set in stone, but after a decent struggle and a few pretty grim moments, the skies are parting and I'm looking up towards all forward motion.
Thanks so much for your interest and support! Stay tuned for more updates!