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.
Alemany Farm in San Francisco
Pitch forks up
Howdy from Alemany Farms
working the dry soil
Little invasive plant
Preparing to lay down straw as mulch
Mulched strawberry beds
Moving the hay bails
Pics just look better with a wheelbarrow in them
I'll take that strawberry
Ready for luch
Fresh picked greens
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.
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!