Friday, May 21, 2010

Progress at the Free Farm

The post in March about progress at the Free Farm had great "then" and "now" pictures. Things haven't slowed down since then. I would even say that the Free Farm is in a new phase since March. We've been growing and harvesting fabulous crops to distribute. I love the picture above of Pancho talking to people and giving away food! Check out the rest of the pictures we've gathered as the harvests keep rolling in.

Produce to the People!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Field Trip to Pie Ranch with Mission High School Students

Hi, this is Case, new summer program assistant with Produce to the People. In my very first week of work I was lucky enough to visit Pie Ranch. Both PttP and Pie Ranch work at Mission High School with the students building and maintaining a food producing garden. It was a great chance to meet the people who have been working to make food growing a part of young people's lives in San Francisco. It was also a good opportunity to get out of the city and onto a well run farm.

During the visit we fed cows, picked strawberries by the handful, collected eggs, and ate delicious meals prepared by Mission High students in Pie Ranch's outdoor kitchen. There were also educational class sessions for the students led by Pie Ranch's farming apprentices. The apprentices devote a year to learning about sustainable agriculture and social justice. I kind of think our two organizations sound like kindred spirits.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our new summer program assistant!

I'm super excited to introduce our summer program assistant, Case Garver. He's an Ohio transplant through the Lutheran Volunteer Corps, has just finished up working with the poverty response organization, Welcome, and has been on The Free Farm team from the beginning. He's quickly become an integral part of the urban agriculture and food justice communities in San Francisco, and we're really grateful to have his support this summer.

He is splitting his time this summer between Produce to the People, and our friend and partner organization, Cultivate DioCal. Here at PttP we'll be working together organizing the summer harvest season, hosting our second annual youth employment and education program, and continuing to help out at the Free Farm and The Mission High School garden. Case has also already set to work organizing some really great events this summer, and is giving some much appreciated attention to some of the less fun spreadsheets and databases that keep PttP up and running.

In talking with Case about what brought him to the food justice movement in San Francisco and why he wanted to work with Produce to the People, he had the following to say:

The heartbreakingly basic aims of food justice work is what draws me to it. No one should go hungry. Yet, plenty of people do. There is more than enough food, much of it going to waste. The mission of Produce to the People resonates deeply with me because it rejects the "scarcity of resources" mentality legitimizing so many injustices. Instead, Produce to the People has a philosophy of sharing the abundance that already exists in our own backyards. I know that PttP understands the enormous value of distributing local, organic produce to underserved populations, but there's a deeper level of justice here than just pulling fruit from the waste stream. That deeper layer of justice is what MLK called "a revolution of values". It means the people involved in the process, all of them, and their well-being, is more important than the "things" that we create.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Local Food Economies at CounterPulse

Come check out the local food economies talk at CounterPulse tonight at 7:30pm. I'll be there representing the Free Farm, and a bunch of other really great projects will be there as well.