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