We’re pleased to share Alemany Farm’s Spring 2019 Workshop Series! We have a wide range of topics on offer almost every weekend from April through June. We get things started with a four-part “Get Your Garden Going” series, and then move on from there.

Registration links will go live in the coming days. Please sign up in advance to reserve your spot!

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; 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.

Friends of Alemany Farm’s Spring 2019 Workshops are generously sponsored by Google and Rainbow Grocery.

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Get Your Garden Growing:
A Four-Part Series

Session 1:

Intro to Propagation and Seed Sowing

Saturday April 6, 10 am – 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructors:  John Stokes, Abby Bell, and Will Lyons

Come learn the basics of starting plants from both seeds and cuttings. We will cover the benefits of growing plants using different propagation methods, identify low-cost and easy-to-use material options, and provide a variety of plants and seeds as examples. Workshop participants will have the opportunity for hands-on plant propagation practice and will take home cuttings with them.

John Stokes was a co-founder of The Urban Farmer Store and is a volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm. He has been growing starts for the farm since 2012.

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.

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Session 2:

Get your Garden Growing: Basics of Organic Gardening

Sunday April 14, 10 am to 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructors:  Jason Mark and Christopher Chimenti

Have you been wanting to start a small vegetable garden but need some guidance? This two-hour crash course in Organic Gardening 101 is for the novice green thumb. The workshop will cover the basics of soil fertility and compost, crop planning for the Bay Area, and best watering techniques and non-chemical pest control.

Jason Mark is a co-founder and volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm.

Chris Chimenti is an Urban Farming and Customer Success professional who has been a volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm for the past decade.

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Session 3:

Making Every Drop Count: Water Efficient Irrigation Systems

Sunday April 21, 10 am to 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor: Tom Bressan

Come learn the basics of climate-smart irrigation. Using the new California water conservation guidelines, we will look at how systems go together, when specific products are used, and new advances in irrigation products. We will discuss the conversion of sprinkler systems to drip and get hands-on experience setting up drip systems. All questions are welcome! Feel free to bring a picture or a sample of something you have a question about.

Tom Bressan is the Co-Founder and was the President of The Urban Farmer Store. He has written numerous articles and handbooks on irrigation and all aspects of sustaining the landscape and the environment. He has served as a consultant for Sunset magazine, Ortho books, and the This Old House book. He has presented Irrigation lectures to over 1,000 clubs, university classes, and organizations.

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Session 4:

Get your Garden Growing: Planning a Summer Kitchen Garden

Sunday May 5, 10 am to 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructors:  Jason Mark and Abby Bell

Interested in planting a summer vegetable garden but not sure what to plant? In this workshop we will learn which crops and varieties do best in the Bay Area climate and when is the ideal planting time for each crop. We’ll discuss planting techniques, basic irrigation needs, and some challenges that can one expect. Participants will get hands on experience with bed preparation and planting. Season-appropriate vegetable starts will be on sale while supplies last.

Jason Mark, a co-founder and volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm.

Abby Bell has been farming organically for the past 14 years. She is the current farm manager of Alemany Farm and the co-founder of “Food, What?!”. She is a food justice activist and lover of food.

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Other spring workshops at Alemany Farm:

Bring Local Color Into Your World—Using Natural Dyes

Sunday April 7, 10 am – 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 spring 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

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Preserving the Harvest: Pickling and Fermentation

Saturday April 13, 10 am – 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor:  Mei Ling Hui

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. This workshop will be taught by the SF Rec and Park Dept’s own Urban Agriculture Program Manager, Mei Ling Hui, who volunteers as a Master Food Preserver.

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.

SPACE IS LIMITED so please register in advance
Please bring your own cutting board and knife
SUGGESTED DONATION: $20 per person with an additional $10 material fee; no one turned away for lack of funds

Thank you to Veritable Vegetable for helping to support this workshop.

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Worm Composting and Worm Bin Construction

Saturday May 4, 10 am – 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructors:  Francois Gaudin and Abby Bell

Do you want to turn your kitchen scraps into rich and nutritious soil amendment for your garden or house plants? In this workshop we will learn about worms, the benefits of vermicomposting, how to start your own worm bin, care for your worms, and turn your vegetable scraps into rich soil. Participants will also have the opportunity to build and bring home their own bin and worms. Let worms eat your garbage!

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.

Francois Gaudin is a volunteer co-manager of Alemany Farm and permaculture enthusiast.

SUGGESTED DONATION: $20 per person plus additional $10 material fee if you want to make and take home a worm bin; no one turned away for lack of funds

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Landscaping with California Natives

Sunday May 19, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor:  Jim Cartan

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.

The workshop will be followed by a hands-on workday in the natives garden; stick around and help us steward our urban oasis and learn more along the way!

Jim Cartan was born in Santa Rosa, CA 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.

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Introduction to Urban Beekeeping

Saturday May 25, 10 am – 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor:  Fernando Aguilar

Please join us in exploring bee biology and habits, responsible beekeeping basics, and to learn 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 get to taste some honey. This workshop is a great introduction to bees and beekeeping in urban spaces.

Fernando is a former SF Beekeepers Association Board Member 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.

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Cooking from the Spring Garden

Sunday June 2, 10 am – 12 pm at Alemany Farm
Instructor:  Evanthia Skalkos

Farm to Table dining is rooted in the Bay Area. Well it turns out that we have both a farm and a table. Come experience the springtime bounty cropping up on the farm with this hands-on harvest and cooking workshop, culminating in sharing a meal together. In this workshop we will learn about the foods of spring, do a farm harvest, discuss the benefits of eating seasonally, and cook and share a meal together in our outdoor kitchen. Nutritional aspects will be discussed, along with the benefits of incorporating plant-based foods into our diets.
Please bring your own cutting board and knife.

Evan Skalkos has been as active volunteer and Friend of Alemany Farm for the past 2 years. She enjoys getting her hands in the dirt on a regular basis and appreciates the ability to see the food cycle in its entirety. One of her true passions is growing healthy, organic food and transforming it into tasty, nutritious plant-based meals. Join her as she shares this passion for fun and tasty treats on the Farm this Spring!

SPACE IS LIMITED so please register in advance.

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Friends of Alemany Farm’s Spring 2019 Workshops are generously sponsored by Google and Rainbow Grocery.