Dear Farm Friends,
Thank you for your support of Alemany Farm throughout 2015! All year long, from week to week, volunteers engage in sowing, weeding, watering, building compost, harvesting produce…and community. We want to give you a quick rundown on what this all adds up to at year end:
• First and foremost, we logged close to 7,500 volunteer hours at the farm this year! That’s an average of over 640 volunteer hours per month. We’re proud and grateful that we’re able to draw so many people out to the farm all year long by providing community workdays that are both fun and productive. Everything else flows from this outpouring of energy.
• The farm hosted 119 group visits in 2015 — field trips and workday farm visits by schools, service organizations, and corporate and faith-based groups (up from 78 last year). This included 64 adult groups hosted by Friends of Alemany Farm on our workdays, plus 55 children’s groups hosted thanks to our continuing collaboration with SF Recreation & Parks Department’s Youth Stewardship Program.
• We harvested close to 11 TONS of produce (a 33% increase over last year). As always, this food was provided for free to farm volunteers, farm neighbors, and to weekly food donations to the Free Farm Stand, which provides free produce weekly to individuals and families in the Mission district. Whether “heavyweights” like potatoes, tomatoes, apples, and squashes, or the wide variety of greens we grow (lettuce, kale, collards, chard, choi, mustard, and so on…), or the most delicate herbs, edible flowers, or farm favorite ground cherries … it all adds up!
If you were part of this work at the farm this year, thank you! If not, we hope you’ll join us in the new year.
If you’re moved to make a gift at year’s end, please make a tax-deductible donation today to keep Alemany Farm thriving.
More highlights from 2015:
• We installed a new and more durable roof on our greenhouse. Since reviving the greenhouse in 2014, it continues to be a major asset: it enables us to grow all of our seed starts on site and to provide opportunities for volunteers to learn more about seed starting.
• With the help of Rebuilding Together, we installed new raised beds in the kitchen garden, new composting bins, a new propagation bed under the willow, and the beginnings of a lath house extension to the tool shed.
• Our donation-based workshop series continues to grow. From May to October, we offered 6 workshops on topics including soil health, irrigation, native plants, water gardening, and winter gardening. We have more workshops with more topics in the offing for 2016.
• Our outdoor kitchen is home to more events. In its first full year in operation, the kitchen has hosted our seasonal Earth Day and Harvest Festival events, as well as periodic workday meals and demos (thanks to Kerry Hughes and her solar ovens, and Cecilia Galiena and her delicious Italian food). The kitchen was also the site for visits by the Sprouts Cooking Club summer camp, which provides cooking and nutrition education to Bay Area kids. We look forward to more events, more workshops, and more collaborations in the kitchen next year!
• We planted 30 new fruit trees, with close to 30 more planned for early in the new year. We’re working on an abundant future for the hillside orchard!
We know that you value the work we do at Alemany Farm — many of you have personally participated in the work outlined above. We value anything you can give, whether that means an afternoon weeding or sowing seeds, or a year end gift to Friends of Alemany Farm.
Friends of Alemany Farm is a volunteer-run organization, so your gift goes towards expenses such as seeds, starts, tools and supplies, workshop expenses, and other raw materials we use week-in-week-out for our work to grow food security, environmental education, and volunteer community at 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 and working with you in 2016.
The Farm Team