Support Urban Ag in SF + Join Alemany’s U-Pick Team

Dear Farm Friends:

We want to give you an important update on the new San Francisco urban agriculture legislation we told you about a few weeks ago.

The ordinance, sponsored by Supervisor David Chiu, easily cleared the Land Use Committee of the SF Board of Supervisors. But when it went before the full board last week, it was held up over concerns about how the law (which would provide additional resources to City agencies that oversee community gardening and other agriculture programs) might affect the City budget.

Friends of Alemany Farm believes this ordinance is essential for making San Francisco a global leader in urban agriculture policy, and we urge you to do whatever you can to support it.

Below is list of all the members of the Board of Supervisors. Please CONTACT YOUR SUPERVISOR TODAY to express your enthusiasm for this ordinance! Also below is a template letter prepared by the SF Urban Agriculture Alliance in case you need some guidance on what to write.

… In other Alemany Farm related news, it’s high summer at the farm and we are once again sharing the bounty with residents of the adjacent Alemany Public Housing Complex through our weekly U-Pick program. The U-Pick occurs every Wednesday from 4 pm to 6 pm. We always need extra hands to manage the U-Pick, so if you have extra time to volunteer at the garden, please consider helping us with this food security program. If you think you can make a commitment to coming to the farm on Wednesday afternoons, please email jasondovemark@gmail.com.

And please mark your calendars for these upcoming workdays:
Sunday, July 1, Noon to 5 PM
Monday, July 2, 1 PM to 5 PM
Saturday, July 7, Noon to 5 PM
Monday, July 9, 1 PM to 5 PM
Sunday, July 15, Noon to 5 PM

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

The Farm Team

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About sending a letter to Board of Supervisors in support of funding the urban agriculture legislation.

Letters should be sent by email to all the Supervisors. We also encourage you to copy the mayor and the SFUAA in your correspondence.

Please send your letters so they arrive by Thursday, June 28 since they expect to have much of the budget figured out by then.

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Contact information for the Board of Supervisors:

(For easy copy-and-paste: John.Avalos@sfgov.org, David.Campos@sfgov.org, David.Chiu@sfgov.org, Carmen.Chu@sfgov.org, Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org, Sean.Elsbernd@sfgov.org, Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org, Jane.Kim@sfgov.org, Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org, Christina.Olague@sfgov.org, Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org )

Supervisor John Avalos: John.Avalos@sfgov.org
Supervisor David Campos: David.Campos@sfgov.org
Supervisor David Chiu: David.Chiu@sfgov.org
Supervisor Carmen Chu: Carmen.Chu@sfgov.org
Supervisor Malia Cohen: Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org
Supervisor Sean Elsbernd: Sean.Elsbernd@sfgov.org
Supervisor Mark Farrell: Mark.Farrell@sfgov.org
Supervisor Jane Kim: Jane.Kim@sfgov.org
Supervisor Eric Mar: Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org
Supervisor Christina Olague: Christina.Olague@sfgov.org
Supervisor Scott Wiener: Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org

Please also cc or send copies of your letter to:

Mayor Ed Lee: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org
The San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance: info@sfuaa.org

SAMPLE LETTER

[Community Group Letterhead, if applicable]

[Date]

Dear Supervisors:

[**I/we/name of group urge(s)**] you to provide budget funds for the new urban agriculture program detailed in Ordinance 120404 (co-sponsored by Supervisors Chiu, Avalos, Olague, Mar, and Cohen) to ensure that the program has the staff and money to begin reaching the goals laid out in the legislation.

[** a sentence or two about why you support urban agriculture in the city **]

Specifically, please include in the budget:

a) Funding to cover salary and benefits for at least one full-time staff person to coordinate the new program

b) An additional $100,000 for program implementation including: providing material resources to new and existing sites, technical assistance to urban agriculture organizations, support for gleaning and distribution, and other expenses necessary to achieve the goals of the program.

[**I/We**] feel strongly that any funding provided in the upcoming city budget for the program should be reserved for disbursement to the non-profit or agency identified in the strategic plan and evaluation that is required by the urban agriculture ordinance to be presented to the Board by the end of 2012. A small portion of the funding could also be used to support the City Administrator’s work developing the evaluation and strategic plan between now and the end of 2012.

[**I/we**] hope that you will join Supervisor David Chiu in supporting a budget that ensures that the new urban agriculture program has adequate funding.

Sincerely,

[Name]
[Title, if applicable]

CC: Mayor Ed Lee

Help Decide the Future of Alemany Farm!

Dear Farm Friends:

Each year Alemany Farm produces several thousand pounds of fruits and vegetables as healthy and free nutrition for San Francisco residents. We host dozens of field trips for classes ranging from kindergarteners to college students and manage instructional workdays for individuals as well as nonprofit, corporate and faith-based groups. We also sponsor horticultural workshops and community celebrations. As the City’s “urban food park,” Alemany Farm is a unique place for recreation, education, and community-building.

We are proud of the work that we are able to accomplish. But we regret we can’t do more.

For the last three years our all-volunteer Farm has been operating under a Recreation and Park Department-mandated moratorium. That means no new programs, no fundraising, maintenance only. Plans for expanded food production, grants for education programs, work programs for low-income youth, etc. have all had to stand idle as we wait for the City to develop a new management plan for the Farm.

During this time we have been engaged in a multi-stakeholder process to develop that management plan. We’re optimistic about the outcome, and are happy to report that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Right now, we need your help to ensure that Alemany Farm can meet its full potential!

On Tuesday, June 19, there will be a Community Meeting to review the final draft plan for the Farm. The meeting will take place at the St. Mary’s Recreation Center (Murray and Justin Drive, right at the top of the Farm), from 6:30 to 8:00 PM.

Please come to the meeting and lend your voice in support of the Farm! You can review the DRAFT management plan here: http://sfrecpark.org/documents/DRAFTAlemanyFarmMgmtPlan_June5.pdf

In the coming months we will be going in front of the SF Recreation and Park Commission for final approval of the plan. We’ll keep you posted about the dates of that meeting, which will be a crucial chance to support more urban food production.

… In the meantime, we invite you to come out to the Farm for a special bee-themed workday. On Sunday, June 17, we will be focused on doing some repair and routine maintenance around our bee hive platforms. Karen Peteros of SF Bee-Cause will share samples of honey produced by hives in different locations throughout San Francisco. We will also have a fresh farm salad with dressings made from Alemany Farm honey. Come on out and taste the sweetness!

And don’t forget these other upcoming Alemany Farm workdays:
Monday, June 18, 1 PM to 5 PM
Saturday, June 23, Noon to 5 PM
Monday, June 25, 1 PM to 5 PM
Sunday, July 1, Noon to 5 PM

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

The Farm Team

Support SF’s New Urban Ag Legislation

Dear Farm Friends:

We’re writing today to ask for your help to pass an important piece of local legislation that will give a big boost to the urban farming and gardening movement in San Francisco.

It has been many decades since City Hall has taken a serious look at the community garden/urban agriculture movement in San Francisco.

Now, Supervisor David Chiu (supported by a SPUR report and the San Francisco Urban Ag Alliance) is presenting legislation to the Board of Supervisors that could have a tremendous impact on community garden resources, governance, oversight, and the ability to create new gardens.

The program proposed in the legislation will coordinate efforts among agencies on specific, measurable targets with timelines; increase accountability by placing responsibility for coordination and reaching the goals with a specific person and agency; and begin a strategic planning process and evaluation that will help make better use of existing city resources that support city gardeners and farmers.

This reform of the City’s community gardens program has been a long time coming. It will need the support of our community to succeed.

To learn more about the legislation, and to find ways that you can take action to support it, please visit: www.sfuaa.org/urban-ag-legislation-2012

The Board of Supervisors’ Land Use and Economic Development Committee will consider the legislation Monday, June 11. This is the first step for the ordinance before it is considered by the whole board.

Please join urban ag enthusiasts at the hearing on June 4, 1:00 pm at City Hall, Room 263.

If you can’t make it, please send a letter of support to these Supervisors who sit on the committee:

Supervisor Malia Cohen: Malia.Cohen@sfgov.org
Supervisor Eric Mar: Eric.L.Mar@sfgov.org
Supervisor Scott Wiener: Scott.Wiener@sfgov.org

Please also cc or send copies of your letter to:
Committee Clerk: Alisa.Miller@sfgov.org
Supervisor David Chiu (who introduced the legislation) : david.chiu@sfgov.org
Mayor Ed Lee: mayoredwinlee@sfgov.org
Your own supervisor (if you or your organization operates within a specific supervisor’s district). Find your supervisor at this website.
The San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance: info@sfuaa.org
And please mark your calendars for these upcoming Alemany Farm Community Workdays:

Sunday, June 3
Monday, June 4
Saturday, June 9
Monday, June 11
Sunday, June 17
Monday, June 18