Friday, October 30, 2009

Alma Via - San Francisco

Alma Via is part of the Elder Care Alliance family of assisted living seniors communities, we dedicate ourselves to providing care services to meet the needs of older adults. We are a non-profit, faith-based organization that celebrates and respects the dignity and inherent worth of each person. With a few earth boxes growing produce, Alma Via has asked us to create regular gardening activities that can help seniors grow some of their own produce and to grow food for others in need.
We will also create gardening opportunities for patients in their memory care center for seniors with Alzheimers and Dementia.

Work Day 3: St. Paulus Lot

Today we continued our painting-
Tilled the first level - This is not only a good way to prepare the ground for planting, but because this lot has been empty for sometime it helped us to find glass, needles and other sharp things that we want to make sure get picked up before we allow other volunteers to come into the space.

If you plan on attempting to do this in an empty lot near you, please remember the following safety tips:
  1. Wear long pants and protective eye wear to protect yourself from things that might get kicked up at you.
  2. Never, never, never put anything near the blades while it is turned on. If the blades get jammed, make sure it is turned off, a safety is on and that you use something other than your fingers to get it out.
  3. Try to pick up as much trash, glass and rocks as you can before you start.
After tilling the ground, it was soft and easier to flatten, which allowed us to began to lay out where our first beds will go-

Location: St. Paulus Lutheran Lot at Eddy and Gough, San Francisco, CA.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

3rd graders plant our seedlings

This morning Pastor Jay kicked off the Social Justice Curriculum with the 3rd graders at Argonne Alternative Elementary School. Jay talked to the students about homelessness.

Then, I talked to them about our gardening project. And they helped us plant 70 packets of seeds that were donated from around the country. We'll be taking pictures of the seeds as they grow, so that the students, and those who donated the seeds will be able to watch them grow and journey to the plate of hungry folk in San Francisco.

However, in true skill share fashion, these kids already knew a lot about growing plants. Check out the different ways they've been growing plants in their classroom.

The picture on the left shows how the 3rd graders are growing plants in gel so they can watch the roots grow.

The picture on the right shows some of their plants hanging from the ceiling.

Below you'll see they're growing plants in small greenhouses.
And they have bigger greenhouses too.

Monday, October 5, 2009

St. Paulus Garden: Work Day #2 - More Painting

More graffiti transformed. On the left you can see how it looked before, and on the right is after. I primarily used the paint that was already on the wall - to save money and resources.

A few of the other pieces are still in progress.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

St. Paulus Garden: Work Day #1 - Painting

This is what the lot looked like before our work day.

The day began with a trip to the San Francisco Dump & Recycling Center where we picked up a carload of items for our garden, included 8 cans of paint. Because paint is considered hazardous waste, it has to be disposed of properly. The Dump mixes the paints together and gives them away for free to anyone who wants. You can get white, green or gray.

First we used rollers to cover up rusty poles and graffiti.

Some of the graffiti we liked, so we kept it and painted around it so it would blend in with the rest of our work. Then, I used spray paint to create art that looked similar to it, so it would look uniform. We didn't have any white spray paint so I made a figure out of a name someone had put on the wall.

Here someone had painted ACT. Since we were creating an outdoor sanctuary it made sense to to make it into SANCTUARY. In the picture above, you can see that we are painting over other graffiti.
As the sun lowered, we took a final picture of our work for the day. Three people were able to paint half the space in 5 hours. In the process, we had at least 15 members of the community who were excited about our project and offered to help.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Become a Locavore!

Winner of the 2007 Oxford English Dictionary Word of the Year -- Locavore was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Other regional movements have emerged since then, though some groups refer to themselves as “localvores” rather than “locavores.” However it’s spelled, it’s a word to watch. (Source: Oxford University Press)

So, what are you waiting for?! Become a LOCAVORE! Support you local farmers and community -- and feel healthier while you're doing it, too.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Local Foods Wheel

Are you interested in learning more about seasonal foods? Want to know what's in season in your area?

The Local Foods Wheel was created by three San Francisco women, Jessica Prentice (professional chef), Sarah Klein (artist) and Maggie Gosselin (designer). Two wheels exist, one for the San Francisco Bay Area and the other for the New York Metro Area.

Please check out their website to see a detailed list of seasonal foods:

If you're interested in purchasing their food wheel, you can do so on their website.

And, stay tuned for more information, tips, recipes, and DIY (Do It Yourself) ideas for starting your own garden!