Dear Farm Friends,
In last year’s Friends of Alemany Farm Indiegogo fundraising appeal, we asked “Where Do We Grow From Here?” We were excited to tell you about our recently-hired farm manager, Abby Bell, and our expectations for how our first paid staff position would help us advance our mission in the future.
At the end of 2018, we feel we can confidently say simply: We Grow From Here. We’re happy to report that Abby, our farm manager, has been with us for well over a year now, and is helping us build our resilience and strengthen our volunteer ethos to meet the goals we set last year, and to imagine new ones.
Consider making a donation to Friends of Alemany Farm to keep our work going in 2019. Covering payroll costs will continue to be our most significant expense. In addition, we still need to budget for basics like seeds, fruit trees, tools and supplies, and other raw materials.
Thank you for the many ways in which you have supported Alemany Farm throughout 2018! Take a look at what we’ve accomplished in the past year with the support of our entire community of volunteers, donors, and staff.
- Over 14,000 volunteer hours this year. That’s an average of over 1,100 volunteer hours per month on the farm or in service to the farm, contributed by many hundreds of people over 52 weeks of the year…and a significant increase over last year. We’re proud of this figure and grateful for what it represents: the beating heart of the farm from which everything we accomplish flows.
- Together, we grew close to 13 TONS of healthy produce (a 13% increase over last year), all of which is given away for free. As always, this food was provided for free to farm volunteers, farm neighbors, and in sizable weekly food donations to the Free Farm Stand, which provides free produce to individuals and families in the Mission district each Sunday. This year, we also provided produce to supplement the weekly food pantry at the Alemany Public Housing community.
- A popular new internship program. Our farm manager Abby has created and managed a program that to date has provided training and work experience to over a dozen individuals, many from local schools like SF State, City College of SF, University of SF, and others. Four of these interns have already moved into paid positions in urban agriculture in the Bay Area. The benefit has been mutual: Our interns’ presence has helped shore up our capacity to host community groups, grow food, and do outreach in the area of food security. (And they created our sturdy new row crop signs.) And two interns have transitioned into auxiliary membership in our core volunteer group!
- Over 160 group visits to the farm in 2018. Field trips and workday farm visits by schools, service organizations, and corporate and faith-based groups. This included adult and youth groups hosted by Friends of Alemany Farm on our workdays, plus over 30 children’s and student groups hosted thanks to our continuing collaboration with SF Recreation & Parks Department’s Youth Stewardship Program.
- A destination for kids summer programs. Our work on the farm continues to make Alemany Farm a desirable home for summer programs: Sprouts Cooking Club returned to the farm to hold 23 sessions in our outdoor kitchen, and SF RPD hosted 60 children at its second Summer Farm Camp for several weeks.
- Youth development pilot program. Under the guidance of our assistant farm manager, we hosted three teens from underserved communities for 7 weeks in summer 2018. Each earned $15/hr while learning and working under a dedicated manager, with 3 field trips to working farms to widen their horizons. We hope to expand this program next summer if budget allows. This is one of several of our valuable programs your donation would help support.
- A revitalized and growing workshop series. In 2018, Abby spearheaded and curated a creative and collaborative workshop series that has drawn over 200 attendees (many of them farm newcomers) to 13 workshops from February through December. New sessions like natural dyes, worm bin composting, and cooking from the farm have joined popular favorites in a series that provides accessible, low-to-no-cost introductions to a range of topics. The series has drawn on the expertise and interests of our own volunteers as well as guest instructors. Look for more learning in the spring!
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating what’s been happening here at Alemany Farm in 2018. Many of you helped make it happen, in one way or another, throughout the year. We think here is a good place to grow from. If you’re moved to make a gift to support our growth, please make a tax-deductible donation today to keep Alemany Farm thriving.
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.
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 working and growing with you in 2019.
The Farm Team