Alemany Farm

Alemany Farm Earth Day & upcoming workshops

By The Farm Team | April 11, 2015

Dear Farm Friends:

Please join us on Saturday, April 18th for our springtime community tradition!  Bring friends, meet new friends, connect with old friends.

9th Annual Alemany Farm Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 18, 11am – 5pm
at Alemany Farm, 700 Alemany Blvd, SF
FREE
*view the event flyer*
(feel free to post and share)

Here’s what’s slated:

* BBQ & potluck picnic (we’ll have our traditional roasted pig, other meat & veggie grill items, and super fresh tossed farm salad)
please bring a side dish or dessert to share for the potluck (1pm-ish)
* Sweet mandolin tunes at lunchtime (more music is welcome…if you have an acoustic instrument you like to play, bring it along, find a spot to play, and feel free to share your own music throughout the day)
* Farm tasks in the lower garden and native plant areas (11am – 1pm) — work up an appetite before lunch!
* Solar oven cooking demo
* Face painting
* Farm tours (11:30am & 3pm)
* Medicinal herb walk (3pm)
…and Community, of course!

– In the spirit of Earth Day, please bring your own reusable utensils, cups, & plates, if possible. –

We hope to see you on Saturday!

***
PLEASE NOTE: There will NOT be workdays on Sunday, April 19 or Saturday April 25!

But you can join us for these other upcoming workdays:

Monday, April 13, 1pm – 5pm
Monday, April 27, 1pm – 5pm
Sunday, May 3, Noon – 5pm (including work in the medicinal herb garden)
Monday, May 4, 1pm – 5pm

For more information about visiting the farm and joining our community workdays, see our Get Involved page.

***

Spring & Summer Workshop Series – starting May 9!

Get ready for our upcoming series of spring/summer workshops starting in May. Workshop topics will include Soil Fertility & Composting; Native Plants; Aquaculture; Irrigation, and others to be announced.

We’re starting off in May with two workshops designed to make a great pair, but can work as stand-alones if you can’t make it to both:

SOIL 101:
It Starts with the Soil:  Soil Fertility for Your Garden
Saturday, May 9, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Jason Mark
How can you get the most out of your backyard garden? It all starts with the soil, since soil fertility is key to having healthy and strong plants that can withstand pest and disease pressures. This class will provide an overview in soil testing, soil nutrients, cover cropping in Northern California’s climate, and compost basics.
Jason Mark is a co-founder of Alemany Farm and a veteran urban gardener.

SOIL 102:
Basic Backyard Composting for the Home Gardener
Saturday, May 16, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Hannah Shulman
This class will teach you the basics of composting with materials you have on hand.  We’ll discuss different types of compost, how to apply it, and if we have time, build one on site.
Hannah Shulman is the Urban Agriculture Program Coordinator at the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.  She studied at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz, and has been a garden educator with Urban Sprouts, Garden for the Environment, and 18 Reasons/BiRite Market.

How to Register for Workshops:

Send us an email at community.gardeners@gmail.com and tell us your name(s) and the name of the workshop(s) you’d like to attend.

Suggested donation:  $20 per person; no one turned away for lack of funds
Our workshop presenters are volunteering their time; all donations will benefit Friends of Alemany Farm via our fiscal sponsor, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

You can make a donation on our online donation page. In the “in honor of” field on the donation form, enter the name & date of the workshop you’re attending. (Alternatively, you can pay with check or cash at the workshop.)

Details on future workshops will be available soon.

***

Thank you as always for your support for urban agriculture in SF.  We hope to see you at the farm on Earth Day and beyond!

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Save the Date: Earth Day Celebration April 18th

By The Farm Team | March 19, 2015

Dear Farm Friends:

Spring is just ahead (vernal equinox on Friday March 20, 3:45pm PDT to be exact)—so among other things, it’s time to…

Mark your calendars: Our 9th Annual Earth Day Celebration will be held on Saturday, April 18th! More details to come, but count on the usual mix of light farm chores, farm tours, activities, a delicious BBQ and potluck picnic, and live acoustic music (Italian mandolin duets, anyone?). As always, it’s free…and a great way to enjoy our farm community!

Look for our flyer in the coming weeks.

Workday scheduling notes: Due to our Earth Day celebration in the 18th, we will NOT have our regularly scheduled workday on Sunday April 19th. We will also cancel our April 25th workday due to a major Rebuilding Together project at the farm on that date. (But come back the following week and be amazed at what their massive volunteer crew has accomplished.)

***

Upcoming Community Workday Schedule:

Saturday, March 21, Noon – 5pm
Monday, March 23, 1 – 5pm
Saturday, March 28, Noon – 5pm
Monday, March 30, 1 – 5pm
Sunday, April 5, Noon – 5pm (including work in our medicinal herb garden)
Monday, April 6, 1 – 5pm

For more information about visiting the farm and joining our community workdays, see our Get Involved page.

Check out our Volunteer Opportunities.

****

We hope to see you soon!

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February 15: Pond Clean Up & Solar Cooking Demo

By The Farm Team | January 31, 2015

Dear Farm Friends,

Happy new year! Thank you to everyone who donated in response to our year end appeal—we are truly grateful for your generous support. We’re also thankful to all the wonderful folks who came out to volunteer at the farm throughout 2014 and in the first weeks of 2015.

Mark your calendars for a special upcoming workday:

Alemany Farm Pond Clean Up Day and Solar Cooking Demo

It’s time again for our annual pond clean up day! Come out Sunday February 15th, 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, to help harvest the cattails and tules in our man-made (approximately 1500 sq ft) pond. Harvested materials will be used to build bio-mass in areas around the pond and for future craft workshops this spring.

We will also have a discussion of the ecology of the pond, the importance of water sources on organic farms, strategies for management, and creating plant and animal diversity. Bring your hip waders or rain boots, if you have them (a few will be provided), gloves, snacks to share, and join us in getting your hands wet.

After the workshop, join us in our outdoor kitchen for a warm snack and solar cooking demo by Kerry Hughes. She will show us how to prepare cooked food by using sun ovens.

Participants are encouraged to come early (10am) to help harvest food from the farm for the snack.

Cost is free, but donations are always accepted. RSVP to Brett Stephens at 415-971-0821.

Note February 15 is also a regular farm workday, so you can make a whole day of it if you want, and join either our native plant stewards or garden volunteers in the garden after the afternoon snack.

***

Upcoming Community Workday Schedule:

Sunday, February 1, Noon – 5pm (including work in our medicinal herb garden)
Monday, February 2, 1 – 5pm
Saturday, February 7, Noon – 5pm
Monday, February 8, 1 – 5pm
Sunday, February 15, Noon – 5pm (including work in our native plant areas)
Monday, February 16, 1 – 5pm
Saturday, February 21, Noon – 5pm

For more information about visiting the farm and joining our community workdays, see our Get Involved page.

Check out our new Volunteer Opportunities.

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Help us Keep Growing!

By The Farm Team | December 21, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

Our numbers keep growing (along with our fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, and yes, weeds):

In 2014 we broke last year’s harvest record by producing over 8 tons of organic fruits and vegetables — all distributed for free to farm volunteers, farm neighbors, and to weekly food donations. Over 5,000 pounds went to the Free Farm Stand alone, which provides free produce weekly to individuals and families in the Mission district; other beneficiaries were SF Food Bank and Martin de Porres soup kitchen. In every month of the year, we are producing fresh healthy food that benefits many people.

Help us grow our numbers even more. Please make a tax-deductible donation today to keep Alemany Farm thriving.

Speaking of benefiting many people:  In 2014 Alemany Farm hosted over 75 field trips and workday farm visits by schools, service organizations, and corporate and faith-based groups (up from 58 last year). This included over 16 visits by elementary and middle school age kids that we were able to accommodate through a collaboration with SF Recreation & Parks Department’s youth volunteer & education services.  These field trips brought more than 1,100 people out to the garden (up from 800 last year). And we’re already scheduling for 2015.  Of course, this does not include the hundreds of people who come to our drop-in community workdays all year long to grow their knowledge of organic agriculture.  Altogether, we have logged close to 7,500 volunteer hours at the farm this year.

We built on last year’s farm improvements in many other ways in 2014:

• With our revived and rebuilt greenhouse, we now grow all of our seed starts on site. It took us a while to find the right temperature balance, but now that we have, the greenhouse allows us to save money, be more efficient, and provide opportunities for volunteers to learn more about seed starting.
• With the completion of our outdoor kitchen in the summer (designed and spearheaded by California College of the Arts students, and built in collaboration with them), we have begun using this spacious cooking and gathering space for our seasonal events and food demos, and there are more to come in the new year.
• We continued and expanded our series of donation-based workshops, with topics like soil fertility, irrigation, aquaculture, and native plants.  Plus more informal free workshops and demos on herbs and solar cooking.  Again, there are more to come in the new year.
• We developed a whole new slate of volunteer opportunities to give interested individuals a chance to get more involved and take on more responsibility.
• Thanks to the incredible volunteer power of Rebuilding Together, the farm is now easier to spot (with the beautiful CCA-produced sign they installed by our entrance) and safer for visitors (with our rebuilt footbridge, stairway, and doorways).

Please make a donation today so that we can keep up this momentum.  Friends of Alemany Farm is a volunteer-run organization, so every dollar you give goes to our work to grow food security, environmental education, and volunteer community at Alemany Farm. This includes seeds, starts, tools, and supplies, which are the raw materials we use week-in-week-out for our work.

In the coming year, look for more workshops on more topics, and more kitchen events, including periodic meal-enhanced workdays. We’ll also continue our greenhouse project by installing an improved roof to give it long term staying power against the elements. And we hope to build a cob oven to enhance both our outdoor kitchen and our workshop series. Of course, we’ll continue to be out at the farm every week, leading the community workdays that are the backbone of our operation.

We know that you value the work we do at Alemany Farm. We value anything you can give, whether that means an afternoon weeding or sowing seeds, or a tax-deductible donation at year’s end to Friends of Alemany Farm.

Thank you, as always, for your work to grow food security and to build community in San Francisco. We hope you have a peaceful year end, and we look forward to seeing you in 2015.

The Farm Team

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Upcoming Workday Schedule & Saturday 11/29 Closure

By The Farm Team | November 26, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

Please note that we’re taking a little break for the long Thanksgiving weekend, so we will NOT have our regular community workday on Saturday the 29th.

However, we encourage you to join us on these other upcoming workdays.  As seasoned volunteers know, and newer volunteers will discover, we are out at the farm year-round—even in winter—sowing, harvesting, weeding, maintaining, and building volunteer community.

***
Upcoming Community Workday Schedule:

Saturday, November 29 – CANCELLED
Monday, December 1, 1 – 5pm
Sunday, December 7, Noon – 5pm (including work in our medicinal herb garden)
Monday, December 8, 1 – 5pm
Saturday, December 13, Noon – 5pm
Monday, December 15, 1 – 5pm
Sunday, December 21, Noon – 5pm (including work in our native plant areas)

For more information about visiting the farm and joining our community workdays, see our Get Involved page.

Check out our new Volunteer Opportunities.

****
We wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and look forward to seeing you in December!

The Farm Team

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This Saturday: 10th Annual Harvest Festival

By The Farm Team | October 24, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

They’re saying there’s a chance of rain showers at some point on Saturday, but that’s no reason to stay away. We’ll have some shelter from the rain — although, it seems to us a little rain would be even more reason to celebrate! We’ll be out at the farm whether there’s dampness or not, so if necessary, put on your rain gear and join us for our…

10th ANNUAL Alemany Farm Harvest Festival
Saturday, October 25th, from 11am to 5pm
Check out the event flyer

– Garden tasks (we’ll be planting garlic for next summer’s harvest!)
– Farm tours
– Face painting
– Solar cooking demo
– Live acoustic music from KC and the MooNshine Band
– Potluck Picnic & BBQ (1pm-ish): Bring a side, snack, or dessert to share.  Plus we’ll have roasted pig; BBQ (w/ veggie options); greens/beans/rice; farm salad
(Bring your own plate and utensils, if possible, to help reduce waste.)

As usual…it’s free! So please come out to the farm and share community with old friends and new friends. We hope to see you there, rain or shine or rainshine.

Harvest Festival is co-sponsored by Friends of Alemany Farm and Alemany Residents Council. Friends of Alemany Farm is grateful for the support of our fiscal sponsor, SF Parks Alliance. Big thanks to BiRite Market and Zynga for their generous support for this event!

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Here’s another upcoming free event at the farm we want to let you know about:

City-Wide Calm: Herbal Allies to Temper Urban Chaos
Sunday, November 2nd, 1-2pm (Free)

Learn to find yourself again amongst the storm of sensations and feelings that can overwhelm us as deeply urban people. There are many herbs that can help us harmonize our experience of living closely with others, and some of these grow abundantly at Alemany Farm. Expand your toolkit for dealing with urban anxiety, nervousness, and anger. Reconnect with the healing power of being in the garden, and learn to recognize a few key plants that can change your every day experience of living in the Bay Area.

This workshop will be conducted in conjunction with the Farm’s regularly scheduled herb stewardship day, held on the first Sunday of every month. Please come for the workshop and meet some of the volunteers who maintain the herb garden at the Farm.

The workshop will be conducted by Katie Delwiche, an herbalist residing in San Francisco.

****
For more information about visiting the farm and joining our community workdays, see our Get Involved page.

Check out our new Volunteer Opportunities.

****
Thank you as always for your support for Alemany Farm and urban gardening in San Francisco.

We hope to see you on Saturday!

The Farm Team

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10th ANNUAL Harvest Festival – Saturday, October 25th!

By The Farm Team | October 16, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

It’s time to celebrate another year of productivity and community at Alemany Farm.  Since we gathered last October, we’ve harvested over 10,000 pounds of produce, all of which went—for free—to volunteers, neighborhood residents, or weekly donations to the Free Farmstand!  Not to mention the work we’ve continued to do stewarding our native plant areas, pond habitat, and herb garden.  And it’s all been done by volunteers like you!

So please come join us for our 10th ANNUAL Alemany Farm Harvest Festival on Saturday, October 25th, from 11am to 5pm!

Bring yourself, friends and family to enjoy activities for people of all ages:

- Face painting
- Garden tasks (we’ll be planting garlic for next summer’s harvest!)
- Farm tours
- Solar cooking demo
- Live acoustic music from KC and the Moonshine Band!

…and of course, FOOD:

As usual, we’ll have a delicious potluck picnic.  We’ll provide sustainably raised roasted pig, BBQ (including veggie options), beans, greens, and rice…and a tossed farm salad.

Please bring a snack, side, beverage, or dessert to share!
(And your own plate and utensils, if possible, to help reduce waste.)

And as usual…it’s free!  So please come out to the farm and share community with old friends and new friends.  We hope to see you there!

Check out the event flyer and spread the word!

Harvest Festival is co-sponsored by Friends of Alemany Farm and Alemany Residents Council.  Friends of Alemany Farm is grateful for the support of our fiscal sponsor, SF Parks Alliance.  Big thanks to BiRite Market and Zynga for their generous support for this event!

****

In the meantime, you can always join us for these upcoming community work days. There’s always something to do, and all are welcome!

Sunday, Oct 19, Noon – 5pm (including work in our native plant areas)
Monday, Oct 20, 1pm – 5pm
Saturday, Oct 25, 11am – 5pm: HARVEST FESTIVAL
Monday, Oct 27, 1pm – 5pm
Sunday, Nov 2, Noon – 5pm

Find out more about community workdays on our Get Involved page.

Check out our new Volunteer Opportunities.

****

Thank you as always for your support for Alemany Farm and urban gardening in San Francisco.

We hope to see you on the 25th!

The Farm Team

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This Saturday: Farm Tour & Butterfly Walk…with Snacks!

By The Farm Team | September 25, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

Come out to the Farm this Saturday, Sept. 27th at 11am as Amber Hasselbring from Nature in the City and Brett Stephens from Friends of Alemany Farm host a butterfly walk and farm tour. Alemany Farm, with its unique microclimates, natural water source, south east facing slope, orchard trees, herbs, and native plant garden make it an ideal place to see butterflies in San Francisco. Altogether, 22 different species have been sighted at the farm. You can see a few of them here.

The tour will start at 11am and end at 1pm. Suggested donation of $10, and free for all Nature in the City members (please bring your membership card!)

Afterwards, stick around and enjoy a prepared snack at the Farm’s outdoor kitchen.

And…it’s also a community workday, so you have an opportunity to help out with some farm chores and make a whole day of it!

***
Upcoming community workdays:

Saturday, Sept 27 – Noon to 5pm
Monday, Sept 29 – 1pm to 5pm
Sunday, Oct 5 – Noon to 5pm (including work in our herb garden)
Monday, Oct 6 – 1pm to 5pm
Saturday, Oct 11 – Noon to 5pm

Find out more about community workdays on our Get Involved page.

Check out our new Volunteer Opportunities.

***
Thank you as always for your support for Alemany Farm and urban gardening in San Francisco.

We hope to see or hear from you soon!

The Farm Team

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New Volunteer Opportunities!

By The Farm Team | September 19, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

First things first: Save the date—Saturday, October 25th—for Alemany Farm’s 10th Annual Harvest Festival. More details to come…

***
Are you a regular volunteer at Alemany Farm’s community workdays? Do you come occasionally but would like to get more involved in keeping the farm thriving? Managing San Francisco’s largest food production site is a team effort that takes a lot of time and energy, but is also highly rewarding. And it’s all done by volunteers. Friends of Alemany Farm is an all-volunteer-run group, and we want to tap a little deeper into the interest and enthusiasm of the folks who come out to volunteer on our community workdays. We’ve created some new volunteer positions we’d like to fill, and we’re looking to you to fill them!

Whether you want to get more involved in farming or gardening itself, or have time and skills to contribute to other critical support and administrative roles, check out our list of available positions and contact us about your interest. We’d love to hear from you!

Here’s a sampling some of the opportunities to pitch in. Most are open to all levels of skill, and time commitments are flexible. We want to give you a chance to get more involved whether you have time every week, once a month, or just once in a while. (See the link below for more detailed descriptions.):

– workday assistants
– orchard work
– pathway maintenance
– greenhouse help
– weekly harvest
– fundraising
– special events

For more details, plus a full list, see our Volunteer Opportunities page on our website. We hope you’re inspired to be in touch.

***
If you’re not up for a new volunteer opportunity quite yet, we have drop-in volunteer opportunities every week on our community workdays. Everyone is welcome. Upcoming workdays:

Sunday, Sept 21 – Noon to 5pm (including work in our native plant areas)
Monday, Sept 22 – 1pm to 5pm
Saturday, Sept 27 – Noon to 5pm
Monday, Sept 29 – 1pm to 5pm
Sunday, Oct 5 – Noon to 5pm (including work in our herb garden)

Find out more on our Get Involved page.

***
Thank you as always for your support for Alemany Farm and urban gardening in San Francisco.

We hope to see or hear from you soon!

The Farm Team

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Learn about drought tolerant native plants, Sunday August 17

By The Farm Team | August 11, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

Join us for our final gardening workshop of the summer this Sunday. It’s a chance to delve into the timely topic of native plants, many of which are drought tolerant, and therefore increasingly suited to home gardens and yards. You’ll have a chance to explore the farm’s native plant areas with two of the folks who’ve helped create and maintain them. Learn about the wide variety and appeal of plants that are native to San Francisco and California, and how they can be adapted to your setting.

This weekend:

Native Plant Landscaping for the Bay Area
Sunday, August 17, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Instructors: Jim Cartan & Vicki Wilderman
This workshop will focus on how native plants can be used to enhance yards and gardens or other spaces. Join these experienced native plant stewards to explore the native areas at the Farm and learn about the benefits of and various uses for native plants. Bring your curiosity and your questions!
Jim Cartan is manager of Alemany Farm’s native plant demonstration garden,and Vicki Wilderman is a volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm.
________________

How to Register for the Workshop:

Send us an email at community.gardeners@gmail.com and tell us your name(s) and the name of the workshop you’d like to attend.

Suggested donation: $20 per person; no one turned away for lack of funds
Our workshop presenters are volunteering their time; all donations will benefit Friends of Alemany Farm via our fiscal sponsor, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

You can make a donation on our online donation page. In the “in honor of” field on the donation form, please enter the name & date of the workshop you’re attending. (Alternatively, you can bring check or cash to the workshop. Checks should be payable to San Francisco Parks Alliance.)

***

Join us for the following upcoming regular community workdays:

Sunday, August 17, Noon – 5pm
Monday, August 18, 1 – 5pm
Saturday, August 23, Noon – 5pm
Monday, August 25, 1 – 5pm
Saturday, August 30, Noon – 5pm

Find out more on our Get Involved page.

***
Thank you as always for your support for Alemany Farm. We hope to see you soon!

The Farm Team

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