Alemany Farm

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.

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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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Irrigation Workshop this Saturday!

By The Farm Team | July 15, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

There are just a couple of spaces left for this Saturday’s workshop on irrigation and water management, offered by our resident irrigation expert. Class size is limited—this is a great chance to focus in close and get practical knowledge on various irrigation systems in use at Alemany Farm, and then get some hands-on practice installing a small system. There will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and learn how this can be applied to your own garden. And in next month’s workshop, 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 drought tolerant plants that are native to San Francisco and California, and how they can be used in various settings.

This weekend:

Irrigation & Water Management
Saturday, July 19, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Instructor: John Stokes
Learn how to design, install, and maintain a low-volume irrigation system. See how we do it at the Farm. We will cover: options for low-volume garden irrigation (emitter line/drip tape/micro-spray); mist systems for greenhouses; small orchard layouts; considerations for zoning systems, including manual and automatic controls; basics of assembling a drip system; hands-on installation of a small system; soil moisture and watering schedules. Class size limited to 8 people.
John Stokes is a co-founder of The Urban Farmer Store and a volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm.

Coming up next month:

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 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.

Advanced online donations are preferred. 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, July 20, Noon – 5pm (including work in our native plant areas)
Monday, July 21, 1 – 5pm
Saturday, July 26, Noon – 5pm
Monday, July 28, 1 – 5pm
Sunday, August 3, Noon – 5pm (including work in our medicinal herb garden)

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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Sunday July 6th: Water Gardening Workshop

By The Farm Team | July 3, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

If you’re in town for the holiday weekend, consider joining us at the farm for this workshop focusing on the benefits and uses of aquatic plants. It’s also a rare chance to do a little work in the farm pond! Join us for the workshop, then stay for the community harvest at the end of the workday.

Water Gardening
Sunday, July 6, Noon – 3:00 pm
Instructor: Brett Stephens

Aquatic plants not only enhance the look of your garden pond, but also create habitat for wildlife, help maintain healthy water, and can even be edible or medicinal. This workshop will discuss a variety of easy to grow aquatic plants for our climate. We will also have a hands on plant installation in the on-site pond, so come out and get your hands wet! (*Water-proof boots are encouraged but not necessary.)
Brett Stephens is co-owner/project manager of San Francisco Landscapes. He is certified in permaculture design, a Bay-Friendly professional, ARCSA accredited professional, and a volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm.

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.

There is a suggested donation of $20 per person; no one turned away for lack of funds. If you are able to make a donation, you may do so on our online donation page, or with cash or check at the workshop. Checks should be payable to our fiscal sponsor, the San Francisco Parks Alliance.

***
You can also visit the farm for these upcoming community workdays:

Sunday, July 6, Noon – 5pm (including work in our medicinal herb garden)
Monday, July 7, 1pm – 5pm
Saturday, July 12, Noon – 5pm
Monday, July 14, 1pm – 5pm
Sunday, July 20, Noon – 5pm (including work in our native plant areas)

Find out more on our Get Involved page.

We hope to see you at the farm soon!

The Farm Team

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Summer is Blooming at the Farm

By The Farm Team | June 19, 2014

Dear Farm Friends,

Don’t forget about the water-focused gardening workshops coming up in July. Details are below. (Please note: the irrigation workshop is on July 19, not the 20th, as was erroneously listed in an earlier email.) Considering we’re in the dry season of a serious drought year, these workshops can help you learn about caring for and utilizing water responsibly.

But coming up right away we have our regular community workday this Saturday, June 21st (Noon – 5pm). It’s also the summer solstice, which means it’s a little special, too. So we’ll be doing some summer garden chores, but then we’ll break a little early to enjoy some snacks and socializing in the farm’s new outdoor kitchen. If you’re around, please join us to mark the “height of the light” — work with us in the garden (which is blooming into summer lushness), then enjoy some refreshments and community in the kitchen later in the afternoon. If you’d like to bring a snack or beverage to share, you’re welcome and encouraged to do so, but it’s not necessary, as we’ll have some on hand, including some fresh farm fare.

If you can’t join us on Saturday, there are these other upcoming workdays:

Monday, June 23, 1pm – 5pm
Saturday, June 28, Noon – 5pm
Sunday, July 6, Noon – 5pm (including work in our medicinal herb garden)
Monday, July 7, 1pm – 5pm

Find out more on our Get Involved page.

If you need more incentive to join us, check out these lovely photos taken recently by an observant visitor to the farm.

***
July Gardening Workshops:

Water Gardening
Sunday, July 6, Noon – 3:00 pm
Instructor: Brett Stephens
Aquatic plants not only enhance the look of your garden pond, but also create habitat for wildlife, help maintain healthy water, and can even be edible or medicinal. This workshop will discuss a variety of easy to grow aquatic plants for our climate. We will also have a hands on plant installation in the on-site pond, so come out and get your hands wet! (*Water-proof boots are encouraged but not necessary.)
Brett Stephens is co-owner/project manager of San Francisco Landscapes. He is certified in permaculture design, a Bay-Friendly professional, ARCSA accredited professional, and a volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm.

Irrigation & Water Management
Saturday, July 19, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm
Instructor: John Stokes
Learn how to design, install, and maintain a low-volume irrigation system. See how we do it at the Farm. We will cover: options for low-volume garden irrigation (emitter line/drip tape/micro-spray); mist systems for greenhouses; small orchard layouts; considerations for zoning systems, including manual and automatic controls; basics of assembling a drip system; hands-on installation of a small system; soil moisture and watering schedules. Class size limited to 8 people.
John Stokes is a co-founder of The Urban Farmer Store and a volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm.

________________

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.

Advanced online donations are preferred. 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 pay with check or cash at the workshop.)

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

The Farm Team

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