Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Field Trip to People's Grocery and City Slicker Farms

This past Friday I went on a field trip to the East Bay with 4 of Produce to the People's summer youth program workers to visit People's Grocery and City Slicker Farms.  We chose to go to these two great organizations because they understand how the food on our tables is all part of a larger story of power.  
Our first stop was one of People's Grocery gardens at their 55th street garden.  We met up with Jason who told us all about the history of People's Grocery, their gardens, where their food goes, and why they do what they do.  We heard about how City Slickers works to build a more ethical, sustainable, people-oriented, and locally based food economy by creating a grocery store in a part of town where there is severely limited access to healthy food and their Grub Box CSA program.  This approach tips the balance of power back to the people that the food industry serves, rather than the current model that is largely directed from the top which creates problems too numerous to fit in this blog post.  I definitely encourage you to dive into learning more about that!
Next stop was City Slicker Farms where we met up with a farm apprentice, Molly at their Secret Garden location!  If our talk at People's Grocery centered around the intersections of food, politics, and power, our City Slicker tour gave us a good dose of the nuts and bolts of growing food in urban Oakland.  
We saw beds of chard, kale, collards, beets, and turnips, all laid out intentionally to grow the most food in the smallest amount of space.  We also learned about how they built their soil using double digging, and fun methods to keep away pests.  
They're also a garden that has a strong sense of community.  That evening there was going to be a barbeque with volunteers.  

Thank you so much to Jason, Molly, City Slicker Farms and People's Grocery for having us and showing us such a great time!  It was amazing to see how in other cities the love of food is bringing people together, creating communities.  How do does community come together over food in your life?

Kickstarter Rewards!

Here are a few images of some of the rewards offered through our pledge drive on Kickstarter. Please check out our kickstarter page, make a donation if you can, and help us spread the word about Produce to the People and the pledge drive to your friends! We believe this fundraiser is about pooling resources and making connections, so if everyone who believes in food justice and the work we're doing, could pass this along to 5 or 10 or 20 friends, it would greatly help us get the word out. Thanks so much!

Produce to the People buttons

hand made tote bags

Jam! made from locally harvested fruit and herbs and organic sugar

Monday, July 26, 2010

Produce to the People on Edible SF

Check out this article on Edible SF about some pockets of the Urban Agriculture movement happening in San Francisco, with a section featuring Produce to the People and some ideas about non-profit finances.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

PttP Youth, Plums Forever, and the Free Farm!

Our current summer youth program continues to be awesome! Jaime, Isaac and Jason are doing an amazing job harvesting fruit, just last Friday we harvested over 200 lbs of plums in a few hours! A special moment for me was that Jaime took the initiative to spread the word about PttP outside of work and met someone with a plum tree that we could harvest. I think this speaks greatly to the bridges we can make in our community just by talking about what we're doing and how we can support each other.

A million thanks to everyone who has opened their homes and gardens so farm and shared their bounty, diverted waste, and helped get fresh food to folks in need in our community.


Also this past week, we got to spend a little more time at the Free Farm, helping with the harvest, and putting some much needed attention towards the composting toilet. Jason and Jaime are naturally adept builders (and demolition-ers) and put a lot of work in prying apart pallet wood an repurposing it to skin the outhouse (which had been studded out by PttP's handy carpenter program assistant Case, and our good friend and dedicated Free Farmer, Steve).

The outhouse is about 1/3 covered at this point, and is looking rustic and beautiful. You can come help or check it out on Wednesday and Saturday workdays, and as always, can find out more about the Free Farm and the collective of folks that organize it at www.thefreefarm.org.

Jam Sale at Mission Pie!

Saturday, July 31st, Produce to the People is having a jam sale! Our friends at Mission Pie have generously allowed us to set up shop at their great location at 25th and Mission. We'll be there from 11am until 3pm. Come up and get a jar or two of your favorite jam made with fruit picked by our awesome summer youth workers.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fruits of Our Labor: Summer Youth Program Harvests

For the past two weeks Produce to the People has harvested backyard fruit trees with two of our Summer Youth Program workers, Jaime and Isaac.  In such a short amount of time we've already managed to pick close to 400 pounds of plums and lemons, bringing our total near 950 pounds so far!  

From the pictures alone, the generosity of the neighbors opening their doors to share their abundance with the wider community is obvious.  I hope I never take for granted how amazing people ranging from perfect strangers to good friends are.  Regularly the folks whose home's we're harvesting even go so far as to offer us tea and conversation while we work.  It's unexpected gestures like that that transform an afternoon from a job into a community building experience.

I like to think of our work as one cog in the larger machinery of generosity in San Francisco.  People share their fruit with us, and then we have the opportunity to take that fruit to be handed out at The Free Farm, The Free Farm Stand, The Martin de Porres Center, the Julian Pantry, and other great places.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thanks to Gold Bar Wednesdays and all of our friends!

We had a great time at the Triple Crown last night, got to see a bunch of friends that we haven't seen a little while, and made a couple hundred bucks for the youth program! Thanks to Erin and Robin from Gold Bar, the Triple Crown for hosting, and everyone who came out to event!