Yelp for Strawberries!

Dear Farm Friends:

If you’re staying here in the Bay for the Thanksgiving weekend, please join us for our regularly scheduled community workday this Saturday, Nov 29. We’ll start around Noon and wrap up around 5 PM.

There will be plenty to do, including mulching paths and sowing cover crop in the main garden, prepping our permaculture garden, and continuing work on the orchard hillside to get ready for a lot of apple tree planting in Jan. Good times!

At the end of the workday, we’ll have plenty of winter greens to harvest and share. Also, if you like you can take home some strawberry plants to put in your home garden so you’ll have super-local berries in 2009.

Attention critics: If you’re a registered reviewer on, we hope you’ll add a review of your experience at the Farm to the posting that just went up at

Thanks so much for your efforts to make SF more food secure. We hope you have an enjoyable holiday.

The Farm Team

Weekend Change-up and Important Developments…

Dear Farm Friends:

First off, please note the switcheroo on the workday this weekend. Normally it would fall on Saturday, but due to a collaboration with the Green Festival, we will be having the workday on Sunday, November 9th instead. In addition to normal workday activities, there will be a tour and workshop on Medicinal Herbs (information below).

Second, some news of potential concern for friends of the farm:
The south slope of Bernal Heights (adjacent to the farm’s hillside orchard) is at risk of development.  A brief history, from the the South Bernal Action Alliance:

The South Bernal Action Alliance (SBAA), established in 1991, is a group of concerned neighbors working together to improve the quality of life in South Bernal.  In 2000, SBAA convinced the Planning Commission to comprehensively address the problem of piecemeal development on South Bernal’s undeveloped hillsides. At that time, the City agreed to perform the South Bernal Slope Study to examine vehicular and pedestrian access patterns and infrastructure needs for south Bernal where slopes are extreme and streets are underdeveloped or nonexistent.

The study was never done. Now (2008), the SBAA has remobilized to demand that the City enact a moratorium on development of the hillside until the South Bernal Slope Study is completed. There are approximately 100 vacant and privately-owned parcels south of Crescent Street (at the ends of Moultrie, Andover, Bache and other streets). Private developers are currently attempting to obtain city permits for several disparate housing projects on these lots. The SBAA (and the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center) believes that the piecemeal development of these 100 lots will degrade our neighborhood. Among the SBAA’s concerns are:

1. loss of local open space and a 20-year old children’s community garden
2. the sudden influx of additional traffic that may affect pedestrian safety
3. integration with Alemany Housing
4. the construction of large retaining walls that will affect the visual integrity of the hillside and degrade the character of the community
4. unanticipated impacts on city services such as fire and water service delivery

Please join us to stop the impending development projects and get the South Bernal Slope Study reinstated.

This week, Thursday, Nov. 6th at 1:30pm is a Planning Commission meeting at City Hall regarding this study.
If you can’t make this meeting, The Bernal South Slope legislation will be heard by the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee on November 17th at 1pm (City Hall, room 263).  This meeting is in addition to the hearing on November 6th at the Planning Commission. Because the Board makes the ultimate decision about the legislation, this is THE most important meeting for folks to attend. It is critical that the Board hear from neighbors, because the developers are flooding city hall with opposition. The Planning Commission is advisory to the Board of Supervisors, so that meeting (November 6th) is also important. But if you can only make one meeting, the Board of Sups meeting on the 17th is the one to attend. 

If you can’t attend the meeting(s), please consider writing a letter to both the Planning Commission and the Board, urging the approval of the Bernal South Slope amendment to the Bernal Special Use District. Find a sample letter and contacts that include the Board of Supervisor

Thanks for helping us save this precious piece of open space, wildlife habitat, and potential future nut tree orchard!

Medicinal Herb Garden Tour and Hands-On Workshop
Practice Using Herbs for First-Aid Remedies
and Do-It-Yourself Herbal Health Care
November 9, 2008 Sunday, 1-3pm
Come see Alemany Farm’s new Medicinal Herb Garden on a guided tour by Herbalist Cara Saunders of Bear Wallow Herbs. Join in a fun workshop where you will learn how to identify herbal medicine plants and how to use them as first-aid remedies. We will look at the plants in the garden, feel the plants in our hands, taste the herbal tinctures, test the herbal salves, and learn how to use these plants for cuts, scrapes, burns, sore muscles, colds, flu, and many other common injuries and ailments. 
We will demonstrate how food can be your medicine as we enjoy sampling herbal appetizers and herbal drinks that are tasty and healthy! Food and drink handcrafted by Therapeutic Chef, Kristin Doyle.
Alemany Farm, 700 Alemany Blvd in San Francisco
(map and directions at, click on Get Involved)

Free Event! Donations are welcome.
All participants will get a FREE ticket to the San Francisco Green Festival.
Contact: Cara Saunders, Bear Wallow Herbs
(530) 462-4784

Thanks, as always, for helping to make SF more food secure.

The Farm Team