Check out our array of workshops coming up through October. More to be announced soon! Please reserve your space in advance. Details and registration links below.
If you’re new to Alemany Farm, our workshops are a great excuse to come out for an introduction to some of the work we do, while learning skills you can bring home to your own garden or kitchen. For regular volunteers, they are a chance to deepen your knowledge in a more structured setting.
SUGGESTED DONATION: $20 per person per workshop, except where noted. No one turned away for lack of funds. Our workshops are donation-based and support the farm. Please give at the suggested level or higher if you are able. All donations will benefit Friends of Alemany Farm via our fiscal sponsor, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Bring Local Color Into Your World—Using Natural Dyes
Sunday September 15, 10 am to 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor: LisaRuth Elliott
Learn to create unexpected color on textiles using plants, flowers, and leaves from Alemany Farm and everyday foods from your kitchen. We’ll explore the late summer farmscape to forage for plants, flowers, and leaves that create a range of hues on fiber and textiles. You’ll learn the basics of dyeing with natural materials and various dye techniques, and participate in making a pot of fresh dye in the Alemany Outdoor Kitchen. Participants will also take home a jar of dyestuff, a piece of naturally dyed silk, and a recipe card with basic dyeing instructions.
LisaRuth Elliott, a Friends of Alemany Farm Auxiliary member and farm volunteer since 2010, is a visual and fiber artist, weaver and creator of textiles, and worked as a public muralist. Learn more about her work at www.lisaruthcreates.com and follow her on Instagram @sfurbanwanderer.
SPACE IS LIMITED, please register in advance.
Suggested Donation: $20 per person plus an additional $5 material fee; no one turned away for lack of funds.
Planning your Winter Garden
Saturday September 21, 10 am – 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor: Jason Mark
Here in coastal California we’re blessed with the ability to grow food crops all year long. What crops are the best to plant during the Bay Area rainy season? When is the best time to plant them? And what challenges can one expect from a winter garden? We’ll address these questions and others during this workshop, and you’ll come away with a better understanding of how to garden during the winter. Winter-appropriate vegetable starts will be on sale while supplies last.
Taught by Jason Mark, a co-founder and volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm.
This workshop is generously sponsored by Renaissance Specialty Foods.
Water Gardening, Pond Clean up and Solar Cooking
Sunday, September 22, 11 am – 3 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructors: Brett Stephens and Kerry Hughes
Water and sun are fundamental to … well … just about everything. Come out and learn about aquatic plants and water management while helping with our fall pond maintenance. Then follow it up with a solar meal.
The pond work day will include a discussion on pond ecology, the importance of water sources on organic farms, strategies for management and creating plant and animal diversity. Bring your hip waders or rain boots, if you have them (a few will be provided), gloves, snacks to share, and join us in getting your hands wet!
After our work in the pond concludes at 2 pm, join us in our outdoor kitchen for a sweet and savory meal prepared in solar cookers. It will include a discussion on alternative energy sources for cooking, various solar cooker designs, and a how-to demonstration on cooking with the sun.
Brett Stephens is owner/project manager of San Francisco Landscapes. He is certified in permaculture design, a Bay-Friendly professional, ARCSA accredited professional, and a long-time volunteer at Alemany Farm.
Kerry Hughes is also certified in permaculture design, an engineer, an appropriate technology and solar cooking enthusiast, and a community garden volunteer.
Suggested Donation: $10, No one turned away for lack of funds. Our workshops are donation-based and support the farm. Please give at the suggested level or higher if you are able. If you are unable to make a donation at the levels listed below, please contact email@example.com about attending the workshop.
Introduction to Urban Beekeeping
Sunday September 29, 12 to 2 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor: Charlie Blevins
Please join us in exploring urban beekeeping, responsible beekeeping basics, and challenges Honeybees face in our changing environment. You will also follow along during a hands on hive inspection at the farms apiary. Please wear long sleeve shirt and pants. No shorts.
Charlie Blevins is the past president of the SF Beekeepers Association and the founder of Habitat for Honeybees, a non-profit organization dedicated to honeybee swarm rescue and urban beekeeping. Charlie has been beekeeping for over 10 years and currently manages over 60 hives in San Francisco.
Citrus Tree Pruning 101
Saturday October 5, 10 am – 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor: Zack Borg of Arborist Now
Wondering how to best care for your citrus tree? Is pruning a citrus tree different than pruning any other tree? How do I treat my citrus in order to maximize fruit production? Learn the answers to these questions and more and get some hands-on practice as well. Certified Arborist Zack Borg from Arborist Now will share his expertise and help answer all your citrus tree pruning questions.
Certified Arborist Zack Borg has a passion for all things nature. He’s the lead climber for urban forestry tree care company Arborist Now in San Francisco. He loves to educate the public and spread awareness about the importance of properly caring for your trees, in order to maintain them healthy and continue their growth for future generations to enjoy.
(Look for future editions of these in another upcoming seasonal series)
Landscaping with California Native Plants
Saturday September 7, 11 am to 1 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor: Jim Cartan
Are you interested in learning more about California native plants and all of their benefits? Designed with the home gardener in mind, this workshop will focus on utilizing California native plant species for form and function in a landscaped setting. Whether you are looking to attract bees and hummingbirds, build up your borders, or add to the aesthetic composition of your yard, we hope attendees will be inspired by an informational session and tour of the Alemany Natives Garden. Please bring your questions or ideas to get the most out of our time together on the farm.
Jim Cartan was born in Santa Rosa and has lived in the greater Bay Area his entire life. His love of ecology, habitat restoration, and horticulture was sparked as an undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz. He has gone on to work for the National Park Service, non-profit land trust, Save Mount Diablo, and the Alameda Unified School District as an Environmental Educator. Jim has also been a regular volunteer at Alemany Farm for the past 7 years, contributing to the aesthetics and functionality of the Alemany natives garden with his co-steward, Craig Heckman.
Summer Fruit Tree Pruning
Sunday September 8, 10 am – 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructors: Hannah Shulman and Vivian Santana Pacheco
While common wisdom holds that most fruit trees should be pruned in the winter, vigorous and large deciduous fruit trees can also benefit from summer pruning. Come learn about the basics of when, why, and how to summer prune apples and plums at Alemany Farm, and get hands-on practice as well. This class will focus on the essentials of summer tree care, including pruning methods, pruning timing, and orchard hygiene. A quick refresher will also cover tree biology basics needed to understand how pruning works in general, which will help us as we demonstrate and practice what we learn in the field.
Hannah Shulman holds a bachelor’s degree in Growth and Structure of Cities with an Environmental Studies concentration from Haverford College and studied at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz. Previously, she was a garden educator with Urban Sprouts, GFE, and 18 Reasons / BiRite Market, and ran the first urban agriculture program for the city of San Francisco. She is now the Senior Director of Programs at Education Outside.
Vivian Santana Pacheco loves sustainable farming and loves helping others get excited about growing their own food. She recently helped manage Alemany Farm. She is a graduate of the UC Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems apprenticeship and advanced apprenticeship in ecological horticulture program. She is also a graduate of GFE’s Get Up program and is currently farming at Urban Tilth in Richmond.
This workshop is generously sponsored by Renaissance Specialty Foods.