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Alemany Natives, Rebuilding Together, & more

By The Farm Team | June 12, 2015

Dear Farm Friends,

If you’ve been out to the farm recently, you may have noticed all of the beautiful brand new raised beds in the kitchen garden…or our new composting bins in the central garden…or our greenhouse, newly refurbished with a durable hard plastic roof…or our new lath house-in-progress adjacent to the toolshed.

That’s quite a rundown of projects, and for all of these, we owe much thanks to the staff and volunteers from Rebuilding Together SF and the volunteers from the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California.  Altogether we had over 60 volunteers on hand for National Rebuilding Day on April 25, when so much of this work was accomplished.  We extend special thanks to Construction Captain Mike Heublein and Volunteer Captain Erica Hays; skilled leads Jody Kelly & brothers, Sean Arbic, Barney Wair, Bill Codding, Eric Dickey and Darryl Stephens.  Also to McCarthy Building Companies (Northern Pacific Division) for the generous donation of lumber and hardware, and to Adaptive Plastics for a great deal on their Solexx greenhouse covering.

Thank you to Rebuilding Together SF and all of the volunteers who came out to the farm for a 2nd year of amazing work together in April!!

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Alemany Natives Quarterly Report, January – March 2015

If you’re at the farm regularly on Sundays, you may know that we have a team of dedicated stewards and volunteers who care for the variety of native plants to be found at Alemany Farm.  Co-stewards Jim Cartan and Craig Heckman—who have about 10 years’ experience at the farm between them—shared an update on what the Alemany Natives crew has been up to and thinking about earlier this year.

Here’s an excerpt from their report.  We encourage you to read the full report on our website.  And if your interest is piqued, please join them for an Alemany Natives workday (3rd Sunday of every month)!  From Jim and Craig:

We thought it would be useful for Alemany Farm supporters to hear about Alemany Natives accomplishments and plans for the future on a quarterly basis.  We also hope these updates will maintain volunteer backing and spark interest among volunteers new to the area, the farm, or the native garden in particular.

California native plants are adapted to drought.  The biological stock in the Alemany native garden have weathered (pun intended) extreme dry spells for thousands of years, although human climatological records only go back 150 years. While we fret about water usage, storage, and consumer behavior, these amazing specimens have adapted hardy root systems that tap water deep in the sandy loam soil of the farm.

The established shrubs, bunch grasses, and herbaceous species in the native garden continue to persevere through the increasingly dry years.  It is only newly planted individuals that require consistent irrigation to develop root systems that are adaptable to what nature offers.  With the help of volunteers, we have continued to plant woody and herbaceous species propagated on the roof of Craig’s home from seed and cuttings collected in the garden.  We have also just procured a generous donation from the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department native nursery in the form of bunch grasses and shrubs that will be planted in our grassland, hedgerow, and upland scrub habitat areas.  We will continue to water these new plantings through the spring and summer to carry them over to a hopefully wet winter. Read more…

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Come on out to the farm and see it in all its late spring/early summer splendor.  Please join us for one of these upcoming workdays:

Saturday, June 13, Noon – 5pm
Monday, June 15, 1pm – 5pm
Sunday, June 21, Noon – 5pm (including work in our native plant areas!)
Monday, June 22, 1pm – 5pm
Saturday, June 27, Noon – 5pm

For more information about visiting the farm and joining our community workdays, see our Get Involved page.

Thank you as always for your support for urban agriculture in SF.  We hope to see you at the farm soon!

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