~*~ 2017 FALL WORKSHOP SERIES ~*~
NOTE: Our fall workshop series has concluded. Thank you to everyone who came out to the farm to learn with us! Check this page for news of future workshops, including our Spring 2018 series! In the meantime, see below to get an idea of the kinds of educational activities we offer.
For five weekends in September and October, Friends of Alemany Farm will offer a series of donation based workshops on topics ranging from basic soil fertility to food preservation, and much in between. Check out the descriptions below. If you’re new to the farm, these sessions 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; no one turned away for lack of funds. All donations will benefit Friends of Alemany Farm via our fiscal sponsor, the San Francisco Parks Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. You can pay with cash or check at the workshop. Checks should be payable to San Francisco Parks Alliance.
Planning a Winter Kitchen Garden
Saturday, September 9 — 10 a.m. to Noon 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. Participants have the option to join our regular community workday following the workshop.
Jason Mark is a co-founder and volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm.
Water Gardening/Pond Clean Up Workshop & Solar Cooking Demo
Saturday, September 16 — 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Alemany Farm
Instructors: Brett Stephens & Kerry Hughes
Come out to help with our late summer pond maintenance while you learn about aquatic plants and water management. The 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, join us in our outdoor kitchen for a snack, prepared in our solar ovens by Kerry Hughes. Participants are encouraged to come early if possible (10 a.m.) to help harvest food from the farm for the snack.
Brett Stephens is co-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.
Building Healthy Soil: Soil Basics, Soil Fertility, and Cover Crops
Saturday, September 23 — 10 a.m. to Noon at Alemany Farm
Instructors: Abby Bell and Evanthia Skalkos
In organic gardening and farming, building healthy soil is the foundation for growing healthy and abundant plants. In this workshop we will explore different types of soils, learn about soil fertility management (specifically for the fall and winter gardens), and get hands-on experience with methods of using cover crops and compost to build soil health. Participants have the option to join our regular community workday following the workshop.
Abby Bell is the current farm manager of Alemany Farm, the co-founder of “Food, What?!”, and a long-time gardener/farmer, food justice activist, and lover of food.
Evanthia Skalkos is both an active volunteer at and loyal Friend of Alemany Farm. She led the first-ever Urban Youth Farm Camp at Alemany Farm this past summer and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and love of all things farm-related with you this fall!
Preserving the Harvest: Pickling and Fermentation
Sunday, October 1 — 10 a.m. to Noon at Alemany Farm
Instructor: Mei Ling Hui
Notes: Please bring your own cutting board and knife. A $10 materials fee is requested in addition to suggested donation.
Come learn all about making your own pickles at home! In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn from Master Food Preservers about the different types of pickled foods and what you need to know to make sure your pickles are safe and delicious. Then you’ll make your own jars of vinegar-based pickles and sauerkraut from scratch to take home with you. Participants have the option to join our regular community workday following the workshop. Space is limited, so please sign up early.
Mei Ling Hui has been volunteering as a Master Food Preserver since 2014 and has taught workshops all over the Bay Area, including at the San Mateo County Fair and Maker Faire. This year, Mei Ling is the Co-Chair for the Preserves Committee of the Good Food Awards, which honors the outstanding American food producers that push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities.
Introduction to Urban Beekeeping
Saturday, October 7 — 10 a.m. to Noon at Alemany Farm
Instructor: Fernando Aguilar
Please join us in exploring bee biology and habits, responsible beekeeping basics, and learning about essential hive equipment. We will also look at an observation hive (subject to availability), take a safe peek at the Alemany Farm apiary, and will get to taste some honey. This workshop is a great introduction to bees and beekeeping in urban spaces. Participants have the option to join our regular community workday following the workshop.
Fernando is a former SF Beekeepers Association Board Member and continues to be active with this organization. He’s lived in The City his entire life, currently residing in Bernal Heights, and has been keeping bees for 7 years.