Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Food Preservation Workshop Series!

Hey Friends! This workshop series isn't exclusively PTTP, but the profits from the first workshop on canning JAM go to benefit PTTP! See you there!

Lauren Anderson, director of Produce to the People, and Finn Cunningham, writer of the Mental Health Cookbook, will be offering a four part workshop series this January on Jamming, Fermenting, Pickling and Sprouting. Learn traditional kitchen skills by attending one workshop, or participate in the whole series. Workshops are hands-on, most processes will be done together during the class and each class will send you home with a jar of something homemade and delicious. All classes will be taught in a home kitchen in Bernal and registration will be limited to eight students per class. To register for each class, simply click on the sliding scale amount that feels best for your budget, or register for the entire series with the sliding scale links all the way at the bottom.
See you in January!

Jam and Intro to Water Bath Canning: January 8th, 1-3pm
This workshop will teach the basics of fruit jam cooking and canning, as well as introductory water bath canning, which can be applied to many of the preservation techniques taught in later workshops (although this canning process will only be demonstrated during the jam workshop). Participants will leave with one 8oz. jar of homemade canned jam.
Sliding scale: $20, $25, or $30
(profits from this workshop go to benefit Produce to the People)

Fermentation: January 15th, 1-3pm
Come learn about the basics of fermentation and the benefits of probiotics. We'll be demonstrating how to make yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut at home and participants will leave with a jar of kraut.
Sliding scale: $20, $25 or $30

Pickles: January 22nd, 1-3pm
This workshop will focus on vegetable pickling and will demonstrate both pickling with vinegar as well as salt brining. Participants will leave with a pint jar of vinegar pickles.
Sliding scale: $20, $25, or $30

Sprouting: January 29th, 1-3pm
Come learn about the nutritional benefits of sprouting and how to incorporate sprouts into your diet. We'll cover how to sprout beans, grains, seeds and greens and we'll be making sprouting jars to use at home.
Sliding Scale: $20, $25 or $30

To register for the entire series, click here:
Workshop Series: Sliding Scale: $80, $100, $120

Please feel free to contact us with any questions: wildoatsandnettles@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ice Cream to the People!

It's that time of year... the rains (sort-of, maybe, a little bit) let up, the sun comes out, the wind no longer knocks you off your bicycle at every corner. San Francisco summer may not look like shorts and flip-flops, but it certainly looks like... ICE CREAM!


Maybe you're sending positive energy out to the summer solstice, maybe you need to do something moderately wholesome after Pride weekend, maybe you just want to support local food systems and meet other folks who do too! What better way to multi-task than by supporting a community food organization while eating delicious treats, bidding on auction goodies, and cornering the raffle?!

Ice Cream to the People!
a benefit for Produce to the People

Thursday, June 30th, 2010. 5:30-9pm
El Rio (Mission @ Precita)

$10-30 suggested donation
(no one turned away for lack of funds)

Ice Cream Social!

locally harvested fruit compotes and homemade herb syrups by Produce to the People
Ice Cream Scooped by TEAM SCOOP!

Herbal Tarot by Karin Von
Feel Good Jamz by Gigi Didi

Silent Auction!

Awesome Workshops!!
Bread or Bagel Baking with Sour Flour
Magical Potions with Finn Cunningham of As We Can
Home Canning Fruit Jams and Butters with Lauren Anderson of Produce to the People

Amazing Art Work!!
Red Cruiser (Red Cruiser Etsy Shop)
Chantilly Lace Terrariums

Fabulous Goodie Baskets!!
featuring delicious preserved goods, jams, fruit butters, chutneys, pickles, herbed salts and sugars and more! As well as delightful home made bath goods, shampoo, lip balm, bath salts, and more!
Goodies by:
Sara Seinberg

Raffle Raffle!
featuring Gift Certificates and Books from:

We'll be updating this page as more awesome donations come in, so please check back! See you at El Rio!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2010 Annual Report

Produce to the People (PttP) has made great progress in 2010 as we began our second year of operation. We saw expansion and honing in each of the four projects that interweave to form our programming as a whole. We harvested and grew over 3 tons of fresh, organic, San Francisco produce, supporting our mission to ensure access to local, nourishing food for low-income members of our community. We met many wonderful new volunteers, and worked with an amazing group of young people, creating community by working together, sharing resources, and uniting over healthy food.

As an organization still in it’s ‘seed’ phase, we have begun to focus on developing our organizational structure, and are in the process of moving out of being entirely volunteer run and into a more traditional non-profit structure. During these difficult economic times, we have managed to grow our funding, both foundation support and individual support, and are well poised to continue to grow in 2011.

Backyard Harvest Project

  • Harvested and distributed 4,193 lbs. of organically grown, local fruit, a 32% increase from our total in 2009.
  • Increased outreach and added new clients to our harvest registry
  • Maintained distribution partnerships with the Free Farmstand, the Julian Pantry, and Martin de Porres soup kitchen. Initiated new distribution partnerships with the Free Farm and SF General free diabetes classes.
  • Created a better system of tracking clients and harvests which will be further developed in 2011.
  • Developed a set of surveys for youth, harvest clients, and recipients of produce.
Community Gardens Project

  • Winter 2010- finished the build out of the St. Marks Church/Luther Towers Senior Community garden, which is now fully supported by those two communities.
  • Spring 2010- finished our last semester at the Mission High School Garden, supporting the Garden Advisory Class. MHS received a school greening grant from the city of San Francisco that will hire contractors to build out the garden space over the next two years.
The Free Farm (FF)

  • Throughout 2010, the development of the Free Farm has soared and has taken the focus of our Community Gardens Project.
  • Developed the farm from an empty lot into a 1/3 acre food production and education garden, hosting two volunteer workdays per week- an average of 30 volunteers per week.
  • Grew, harvested, and distributed over 2000 lbs of organic produce.
  • Hosted many work groups, including several ‘alternative spring break’ college groups, youth from Sacred Heart Prep (located one block from the farm), a monthly group from Temple Emanu-El, and many more.
  • Engaged in the ongoing process of creating a collective organizing structure that operates out of a partnership of 8 individuals, some associated with different non-profits, CBOs, other community oriented projects, as well as some unaffiliated community members.

Summer Youth Employment and Education Program

  • Hosted a group of 4 high school students for summer employment for 12 hours per week for 8 weeks through a partnership with MYEEP/SWEP.
  • Youth engaged in harvesting fruit, planting and harvesting vegetables, building a composting toilet at the Free Farm, and distributing food through partner project- the Free Farmstand in the Mission.
  • Youth visited West Oakland food justice organizations People’s Grocery and City Slicker Farms.
  • Youth learned how to can jam and organized a jam sale at partner business, Mission Pie.
  • PttP hired a Summer Program Assistant through a partnership with Lutheran Volunteer Corp and Cultivate DioCal.

Jam and Canning Project

  • Tripled production in 2010.
  • Hosted two Jam Sales through a partnership Mission Pie earning $1174 on approximately 150 jars of jam.
  • Developed an ongoing corporate donation exchange with Mission Pie, earning $420 on 84 jars of jam.

Financial Support

  • San Francisco Parks Trust Innovator Award -$1500
  • Rose Foundation Northern California Grassroots Fund- $3000
  • RSF Social Finance Seed Fund- $2000
  • Hosted a successful online pledge drive, raising $10,223 from private donors in 60 days.
  • Hosted annual Ice Cream Social fundraiser, raising over $1,500, a 60% increase from 2009.
  • Accepted to participate in the RSF Social Finance Food and Agriculture Focus Fund Sharing Program

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Want to help organize our annual Ice Cream Social?

I'm looking for a friendly volunteer that would like to help plan our annual "Ice Cream to the People" fundraiser, scheduled for June 30, 2011 at El Rio. No event planning experience required. You should be outgoing and feel comfortable talking to local businesses about Produce to the People, and asking for donations. Time commitment is flexible- minimal (1-2 hours a week) through March and April, and will increase (up to 3-5 hours a week) in May and June as we start picking up donations, publicizing the event, organizing volunteers, creating signage, etc.

Responsibilities include:
--Chatting up local businesses and makers via email, phone, and in person, for gift certificates for our raffle and items for our silent auction. Items and gift certificates have typically been focused on the local food movement in San Francisco.
--Picking up donations for raffle and silent auction, ice cream and toppings!
--Event publicity, posting event details on listservs and local event listings, posting and dropping flyers off around town
--Creating any signage and displays for the event
--Organizing volunteers for the event
--Helping out at the event (this will be minimal work, and mostly fun!)

If you're interested, please contact Lauren at producetothepeople@gmail.com, with a brief description of your interests in Produce to the People, helping with the event, any relevant experience, and your availability. Formal resumes are not necessary.

Thank you!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Support Letter for the Urban Agriculture Zoning Proposal

The hearing for the Urban Agriculture Zoning Proposal is today, at 1:30pm at City Hall Room 400. More information about the proposal can be found on the SFUAA website. I strongly urge anyone invested in community and market gardens in San Francisco to go show your support (supporters are wearing green). Below is the letter I wrote and sent to the members of the planning commission in support of the proposal.


Dear Members of the Planning Commission:

I am the director of a small non-profit, Produce to the People, a project of the San Francisco Parks Trust. I am also a founding and organizing member of the Free Farm, a 1/3 acre community garden in the Western Addition/Tenderloin that grows and distributes fresh produce for free. Through both of these projects, I have played a part in the distribution of over 9,000 lbs of locally grown fruits and vegetables to people in need in our community, provided meaningful summer employment to 9 youth, and aided in the garden education of over 60 youth, all in the last year and a half.

I urge you to support the urban agriculture zoning proposal introduced in December (Ordinance 101537), along with a few important amendments detailed below. I strongly believe community gardens act as sites that foster not only the growth of nourishing produce, but also the connection between city dwellers and our environment, our food system, and each other. I believe in the preventative care that nutritious food affords our more vulnerable populations, who may not financially have access to it, and the benefits to our community as a whole when we are healthier. I have seen firsthand the joy and strength that comes from offering people the chance to connect with the earth, to be involved in team work, and to cultivate life in the often harsh environment of a city.

San Francisco is at the forefront of the urban agriculture movement and that we have the potential to make simple policy changes that will act as a model for other cities and towns. I support this zoning proposal for both the inception of new gardens, as well as the ability for existing gardens to sell their goods, and in turn support their projects and the hard-working people who cultivate them. This proposal supports a local food system and in turn, a local economy, both lending greatly to the vibrancy and sustainability of San Francisco as a whole.

I would urge you to support the following changes to the proposal, all of which would have hindered projects I have been a part of at one point:

1) Remove or waive the “change of use” permit fees for urban agriculture projects.

Many garden projects, including two I have been a part of in the last year, the Free Farm and the Mission High School garden, begin and continue to operate with little to no funding, supported by volunteer efforts and in-kind donations. If these currently thriving projects had faced an initial fee of $300, they may never have gotten off the ground.

2) Remove any fencing requirement.

As with the “change of use” permit fees, fencing requirements are an additional expense that many gardens may not be able to afford.

3)Allow sales of value-added products and pooled produce on site.

Value-added products and pooled produce creates the potential for increased revenue for small market garden businesses and fund raising opportunities for non-profit projects, strengthening our local economy and allowing a greater possibility for self-sustaining non-profits and CBO’s.

I appreciate your consideration and sincerely hope that you will support the proposal with the amendments outlined above.

Best regards,

Lauren Anderson


Produce to the People

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bring on the Winter Citrus!

I would guess that there may be more lemon trees than any other type of fruit tree in San Francisco, and many of them fruit repeatedly all year round, but I've found that people consider them less than many other types of fruit. I will often go to pick plums or apples and find that there will also be an unassuming lemon tree on the property, heavy with fruit. I think it's because most folks don't eat raw lemons like other fresh fruit, they don't typically bite right into them, but they are easy to use in simple ways that still get you the vitamin C your body needs, especially in this winter season (despite our lack of winter weather!)

You can simply squeeze lemon into a glass of water or tea, juice them for lemonade, make a simple salad dressing with lemon juice and oil. Jaime, one of the students from our 2010 summer youth program would always grab a few lemons to squeeze over carne asada. My friend Susan, who teaches science at Mission High School (and teaches composting and seed saving in the garden! Awesome!), just told me that she takes meyer lemons (a smaller, sweeter variety) from her family orchard in to school and the students eat them with Pico de Gallo salt.

Earlier this week I picked 114 lbs of oranges from a tree in Potrero. Winter citrus season is in full swing, and we want your extra fruit! I'll be sending out emails to folks who have registered citrus trees to check in and see if you have extra fruit. You can also contact me at producetothepeople@gmail.com or on our fruit tree registry by clicking here. I believe citrus fruit is a big part of winter preventative care, so please share what you've got so we can keep everyone healthy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Free Farm celebrates our One Year Anniversary!

This past Sunday we hosted a beautiful and amazingly joyful day of service and celebration at the Free Farm in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, as well as the one year anniversary of our farm. The event was a collaboration with Temple EmanuEl, a Jewish congregation that organizes their own workday one Sunday every month to support and enjoy the farm.
We had been in discussion about our plans to build a greenhouse that would allow us to propagate seedlings and edible plants and trees, both for our farm, and also to grow plenty extra that could be given away to other community, school, and home gardens, and Temple EmanuEl generously offered to donate the funds for the greenhouse building materials so that we could raise the structure at our January 16th celebration.

We had disassembled and purchased a used hoop house frame from a nursery that had closed, and were able to get enough hoops to build a 20' x 30' hoop house for propagating plants, as well as a 20' x 18' hot house that we will use to grow warm weather vegetables, like tomatoes, cucumbers and eggplant.
We're also in the process of creating a multi-use space next to the greenhouse, which will be comprised of a much larger tool shed (made of re-purposed plywood storage vaults), a second storage space that will house a small "office" and other supplies, and a meeting space where people can gather for meetings, workshops, worship and other spiritual practices like yoga and meditation. The storage build out, as well as our greenhouse mist system and a revamped irrigation system in the garden are being funded by the San Francisco Parks Trust Innovator Award.

The event went off without a hitch, it was the largest work day we've ever hosted, and the communal spirit and life of the farm itself was palpable in the teamwork and smiles and the uplifting energy in the air. It was exciting to participate in the raising of the hoops, as 12 people, working as 1, simultaneously lifted the top section of the greenhouse and fitted it together.
There were many projects happening throughout the day, the greenhouse, the hot house, the tool shed, bench building, making potato towers, painting signs, and starting seeds. It was so inspiring to walk around and see all the different projects and people that came out. As we planned the event, we weren't really sure what to expect, but in the end we all just let go, and were able to accept that any amount of service we were able to give and any amount of progress we were able to make and all the new things we were able to teach each other were exactly the right amount, and that we can accomplish so much by working together.

It's been an amazing year at the Free Farm, and this event was important for folks like me, who need to take a step back every now and then and marvel at what we've been able to make together. Huge thanks to everyone who helped, the team leaders, the awesome kids, the folks from Temple EmanuEl and St. Paulus Church, Alena and Yasue for the delicious and energizing lunch, and the Free Farmers for a stellar first year.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Some Recent Press

Produce to the People got a little mention as an "alternative model" to DPW's gleaning program in Urban Gleaning Program puts homegrown food to good use.

I was the "local mug" on ScoutMob this week, talking about PttP and San Francisco.

Also check out Urban agriculture: SF considers allowing sales about the new zoning proposal for community gardens, featuring our friends at Little City Gardens and Cultivate SF.