Friday, January 22, 2010

New City Farm and Garden Collective!

Just wanted to let everyone know that The Free Farm, a collective garden project that Produce to the People is helping organize, design, and build in collaboration with a handful of other really amazing community orgs and fantastic volunteers, is up and running! Here's a few pics and more info...

The Free Farm is an urban farm on the corner of Gough and Eddy Streets in San Francisco, CA. Our goal is to grow organic produce, foster garden education, and build community. The food grown is offered to the community for free in an effort to combat hunger, aid health and nutrition, and increase resource sharing and care for one another.

Currently the farm is open to the public on workdays, Saturdays and Wednesdays from 10am to 2pm (closed during heavy rain). Everyone is welcome, there are many tasks for people of all skill levels and physical abilities (please note that the site has limited wheelchair access at this time.)

The Free Farm is organized by a collaboration of San Francisco food justice, community gardening and poverty response organizations in conjunction with the hard work of many dedicated volunteers. The land is generously donated by St. Paulus Lutheran Church.

While our primary focus is on the growth and distribution of local organic produce, we are also deeply invested in creating a model of successful community partnership. Please find out more about our partners below.

news and sentiment from the Scion Exchange

Yesterday was the California Rare Fruit Growers Scion Wood Exchange in Berkeley. I got there early with Tree, and our friend and fellow tree enthusiast, Sara, so we could set up a little info table for PttP, the Free Farm Stand and the Free Farm. This also meant we got first dibs on some of the scions, before the chaos, yes CHAOS, that is not an overstatement, ensued.

I had no idea so many people were so excited about grafting fruit trees. I mean, it really was the place to be if you had any interest in it, there were tons of varieties of just about everything, and there was root stock for sale and onsite grafting onto said rootstock, plus little demo workshops, and of course tables with great folks like Greywater Action, the Permaculture Guild, and Alemany Farm. It was quite a scene.

I got a handful of scion wood, not too much because I know I'll never get to it all, but I'm excited to work on my grafting technique in our tiny mini orchard at home as well as a few friends gardens. I also felt really inspired by two women that were at the last CRFG meeting I went to who have been guerilla grafting fruiting wood onto some of the flowering plum trees that are rampant around San Francisco.

Everything together made me think about utilizing pre-existing resources and our ability to create abundance with a little ingenuity, time, and capable hands. It made me really embrace dormancy and growth cycles and the calm that I feel when it starts to rain and the energy that I feel when the rains pass. Like the dormant season and the prime time to graft, the scion exchange happens once a year, so if you missed it this year, you'll have to wait til next winter, but trust me, it'll be worth the wait.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

CRFG Annual Scion Wood Exchange this Saturday!

This Saturday, Jan 16th, is the California Rare Fruit Growers Annual Scion Exchange. I'll be there sharing a table with Tree giving out info about Produce to the People and The Free Farmstand. I'll also be scooping up some scion wood to do some grafting onto my fruit trees, as I'm fairly new to grafting and really excited to practice and hopefully get a little more variety going in my little home garden. Should be pretty fun for both experienced and novice grafters.