Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Free Farm Stand is 'our' farm stand

Kristine, Burton and Brenaja helping out at the hyper-local table at the Free Farm Stand
(photo by Bill McLeod)
Pancho and Kevin hanging out by the produce in Parque Ninos Unidos
(photo by Cristina Ibarra)

There are some things that just feel great to be a part of, they're just genuine efforts from good and true people and the Free Farm Stand is one of these things, organized by a magical man named Tree, who is one of these people.

Folks coming through to get their groceries
(photo by Cristina Ibarra)

The PttP youth and I have been helping out at the FFS more often than the other sites, and the young folks have started to refer to it as "our farm stand", which is exactly the sentiment I'm trying to convey. Tree has done a beautiful job organizing it, it feels homey and inclusive, a place to meet people over good food and share ideas and recipes. A lot of folks that come are regulars and it's apparent that it's not just a place people come to, but a community they're a part of.

Kevin stocking the bread table and offering Pancho some homemade salsa

Sharing is really the center of what makes the free farm stand so special and why we feel so deeply akin to this particular food distribution site, because that is what we're trying to do through our backyard harvests, enable people to share, to even out scarcity with excess.

Yay local!
(photo by Cristina Ibarra)

It's also especially important to us that Tree makes it a point to showcase the food grown in San Francisco, and picked by regular local folks like us. Hyper local food gets to shine on one table, and farmers market excess occupies the other table. It's the best of both worlds, "homegrown" food from gardens around town, and local farm food from great small farms like Green Gulch and Happy Boy.

Tree! Strike a pose!
(photo by Cristina Ibarra)

Tree is also deeply dedicated the food gardening community in SF, especially in the Mission District, and he keeps a weekly blog that is both inspiring and informative, with a list of gardening opportunities throughout the week.

Burton, me and Tree checking out the honeycomb from the bees in Tree's garden
(photo by Kevin Estrada)

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