Farm Bill Finally Passes!

Here’s a statement on the long-awaited passing of the 2008 farm bill, courtesy of the California Food and Justice Coalition.

CFJC Statement on the Passing of the 2008 Farm Bill

The farm bill passed by Congress reflects the tireless work of food justice, anti-hunger and sustainable agriculture advocates, as well as the entrenched power of the agri-business lobby in Washington DC.  The bill includes important new funding for nutrition, beginning and minority farmer, sustainable agriculture and local food system programs.  Unfortunately, it also includes a continuation of commodity programs that subsidize the production of a few crops (mostly corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton and rice) to the benefit of mega-farms and corporate agri-business, and at the greater expense of public health, the environment, farming communities worldwide.

Read the full statement here.

Pumpkin Planting Saturday

Dear Farm Friends:

One of the most rewarding elements of farming and gardening is the experience of delayed gratification. In a society consumed by convience, sometimes it’s a real pleasure to have to wait. After all, nature demands patience, and ripeness takes time.

A good example? Planting pumpkins. If we want to have butternut and kabocha squash and sweet dumpling pumpkins in time for Thanksgiving, we need to get the seeds in the ground now.

To help out, come to our next volunteer workday, this Saturday, 5-24, from Noon to 5 PM. Maps and directions available at www.alemanyfarm.org.

In addition to digging beds for pumpkin planting, we will also be working on the hillside terraces, weeding the new native plant garden, and taking care of the baby carrots, among other important tasks. At the end of the day we will have plenty of lettuces, artichokes, and kale to share.

Also, many of you have asked about volunteer opportunities on the weekdays. Beginning this Monday, Antonio Roman-Alcala, one of our volunteer coordinators, will be at the Farm every Monday from 1 PM to 4 PM. Feel free to drop by and help him out.

Thanks, as always, for your efforts to make San Francisco more food secure.

The Farm Team

Workdays, Bike Rides, and Permaculture

Farm Friends,

Thanks to all who came out this past weekend! We planted Sweet Peas in our new flower bed, Amaranth and Quinoa in our grain demonstration bed, and kept up with maintenance of our ever-expanding realm of veggie production. Some folks even helped finish up our first new terrace on the hillside!

This coming weekend (Sunday, May 18th), expect a similar diversity of tasks, from turning compost to installing drip irrigation, weeding rows and mulching paths, and more! At the end of the day, we will be harvesting strawberries, artichokes, greens, and maybe even some just-ready-to-harvest garlic!

For someone craft-inclined, we’d like to try making pillows out of the duff from our large patch of cattails (and maybe add some lavender for a soothing scent?). If you have any interest in sewing pillows to stuff and bringing them by the farm, please contact Antonio at antidogmatist@gmail.com

In other news, our friends at the Urban Permaculture Guild are putting on their yearly Permaculture Design Course at the SF Botanical Gardens. Check out their schedule and details if you’re interested in getting more skilled and experienced in urban permaculture.

Also, the same day as this weekend’s workday, as a promotion for the In Search of Good Food movie project, there will be a “good food” bike ride. In collaboration with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s annual Bike to Work Day, the ride meets at 16th and Mission at 1pm and will meander around the Mission and southeast portions of the city before ending up at Alemany Farm (on time for at least part of the workday!).

Over about 2 hours, we will visit sites of interest that relate to the history, past and present, of people trying to eat Good Food in San Francisco. There will also be guest speakers at a few stops, including Mission Pie, Veritable Vegetable, and a unique up-and-coming FREE farm stand.

Please RSVP to insearchofgoodfood@gmail.com if you’re thinking about tagging along.

Ride Safe, Eat Well, and Thanks, as always, for your efforts to make San Francisco more food secure!

-The Farm Team

Alemany Farm on TV + Sunday Workday

With much of the garden already planted and the temperatures warming up, it’s time for some spring cleaning.

We need your help this weekend pulling weeds out of our newly planted vegetable beds, clearing and remulching paths, digging a couple of new beds, and planting lettuces, bunching onions, corn and squash. Also, there will be some irrigation installation for our new trees up on the hillside orchard.

We hope you can join us this Sunday, May 4, from Noon to 5 PM. At the end of the workday, there will plenty of strawberries and artichokes to harvest and share. Maps and directions available at www.alemanyfarm.org.

If you can’t make it, you can always watch us on TV! This weekend Alemany Farm will be featured on Bay Area Backroads. Tune in either Sat or Sun to KRON Channel 4 at 6 PM.

Finally, if you’re interested in starting your own backyard food garden, you should apply for a Victory Garden, a program hosted by our friends at Garden for the Environment. Details are below.

Thanks so much for your efforts to make San Francisco more food secure.

The Farm Team

Victory Gardens 2008+ is a pilot project funded by the City of San
Francisco to support the transition of backyard, front yard, window
boxes, rooftops, and unused land into organic food production areas.

In 2008 we will choose 15 households that represent the diversity of
San Francisco to participate in the program. You can participate
regardless of your income, ethnicity, available space, neighborhood,
gardening experience, or lifestyle.

As a participant, you will work with the Victory Gardens team to
install a garden in your outdoor space. Although you will be the
primary caretaker of the garden, the Victory Garden team will provide
ongoing support.

Sound exciting? Please see the attached PDF application and get ready to plant!

for more information:

The Victory Garden Project
c/o The Garden for the Environment
780 Frederick Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
www.sfvictorygardens.org