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Earth Day with WSI @ Alemany Farm

She pulled a ripe plum from the tree in her back yard and took a bite.  To her husbands horror he repulsed, “Your going to eat that… it came from THE TREE”.  She thought to her self,  is my beloved really this far removed from the food we eat and where it comes from?  Sweetheart we have a long way to go!  A WSI co-worker shared this story as we were weeding out a strawberry patch.

Cece and I joined some of my fellow coworkers from Williams-Sonoma Inc. to celebrate Earth Day, by volunteering at Alemany Farm,  a 3 acre urban farm located just off the I-280 in San Francisco… look for the windmill next time you drive by.

Alexia Chimenti, Product Information Analyst of PBKids and PBteen and Co-manager of Friends of Alemany Farm greeted our team of ladies, ready and willing to put in a good days work on the Farm.  Alexia took us on quick tour of the space, explaining how the farm has been an urban community garden for a number of years moving through many incarnations of prosperity and neglect.  Lucky for us and thanks to the over 1000 volunteers, we shared in this season’s preparation to keep the farm flourishing.

With pitch folks in hand we all got to work prepping a recently cut cover crop bed for planting.   Alexia explained how the farm uses cover crops to provide valuable nitrogen to the soil.   By allowing crops like Fava to grow all winter, erosion is reduced, delicious fava beans are produced and come spring, once the crop is cut down, the nitrogen rich rhizomes are released from the root into the ground.  This provides a sustainable cycle of growth, harvest and fertilizer. These ladies are not afraid of hard labor as we added several wheel barrels full of a 70/30 mix of compost/horse manure, and forked it into the plot.  Next, we were on to weeding and bedding the already abundant strawberry patch.

Our efforts did not go unrewarded.  We harvested radishes, several types of lettuce, and sweets peas and tossed all with a lovely vinaigrette prepared by Alexia.  With plates and forks in hand we set off to a shady row of trees to enjoy our delicious salad.  Our conversation brought us together as we discussed sustainable choices we all could make in our personal lives and our work lives.  Simple things like growing your own food, sharing with others, supporting sustainable farming and living practices and above all collaborating with friends and co-workers brings to light the positive and easy actions we can all take to make Earth Day everyday.

For our daily work lives, we discussed sustainable options like alternative work schedules/telecommuting, biking to work and using public transportation.

Let’s all eat a plum… and if we are lucky we can say it came from our very own tree in our very own backyard.

Thanks ladies:

Lek Liske, Erica Dong, Alexis Madison, Stephanie Brunton and Alexia Chimenti

It was lovely to meet you, work with you, share with you and grow with you.  Today was another step towards our own path to being On the Green Road and sustainable. Happy Earth Day!

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4 Comments

  1. Love the recap of the farming day at Alemany. Indeed when you get a group of like minded people together great things can happen. This farm is an example of just that-it is a monunmental task to keep up with the plants that sprout up all over its three miles. I am glad to support the farm as well as Brenda and Cece as they prepare to spread their new sustainable lifestyle to those across the country! Happy trails to you!

  2. Fabulous day & amazing blog! Thanks Brenda & CeCe!

  3. Alexis and Stephanie –

    It was great to meet you both and spend the day playing/working at the farm!

  4. Hi – I live in SF and have visited Alemany too. Didn’t know so much went on their though – impressive. Keep up the good work gals.

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