Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
As an organization still in it’s ‘seed’ phase, we have begun to focus on developing our organizational structure, and are in the process of moving out of being entirely volunteer run and into a more traditional non-profit structure. During these difficult economic times, we have managed to grow our funding, both foundation support and individual support, and are well poised to continue to grow in 2011.
Backyard Harvest Project
- Harvested and distributed 4,193 lbs. of organically grown, local fruit, a 32% increase from our total in 2009.
- Increased outreach and added new clients to our harvest registry
- Maintained distribution partnerships with the Free Farmstand, the Julian Pantry, and Martin de Porres soup kitchen. Initiated new distribution partnerships with the Free Farm and SF General free diabetes classes.
- Created a better system of tracking clients and harvests which will be further developed in 2011.
- Developed a set of surveys for youth, harvest clients, and recipients of produce.
- Winter 2010- finished the build out of the St. Marks Church/Luther Towers Senior Community garden, which is now fully supported by those two communities.
- Spring 2010- finished our last semester at the Mission High School Garden, supporting the Garden Advisory Class. MHS received a school greening grant from the city of San Francisco that will hire contractors to build out the garden space over the next two years.
- Throughout 2010, the development of the Free Farm has soared and has taken the focus of our Community Gardens Project.
- Developed the farm from an empty lot into a 1/3 acre food production and education garden, hosting two volunteer workdays per week- an average of 30 volunteers per week.
- Grew, harvested, and distributed over 2000 lbs of organic produce.
- Hosted many work groups, including several ‘alternative spring break’ college groups, youth from Sacred Heart Prep (located one block from the farm), a monthly group from Temple Emanu-El, and many more.
- Engaged in the ongoing process of creating a collective organizing structure that operates out of a partnership of 8 individuals, some associated with different non-profits, CBOs, other community oriented projects, as well as some unaffiliated community members.
Summer Youth Employment and Education Program
- Hosted a group of 4 high school students for summer employment for 12 hours per week for 8 weeks through a partnership with MYEEP/SWEP.
- Youth engaged in harvesting fruit, planting and harvesting vegetables, building a composting toilet at the Free Farm, and distributing food through partner project- the Free Farmstand in the Mission.
- Youth visited West Oakland food justice organizations People’s Grocery and City Slicker Farms.
- Youth learned how to can jam and organized a jam sale at partner business, Mission Pie.
- PttP hired a Summer Program Assistant through a partnership with Lutheran Volunteer Corp and Cultivate DioCal.
- Tripled production in 2010.
- Hosted two Jam Sales through a partnership Mission Pie earning $1174 on approximately 150 jars of jam.
- Developed an ongoing corporate donation exchange with Mission Pie, earning $420 on 84 jars of jam.
- San Francisco Parks Trust Innovator Award -$1500
- Rose Foundation Northern California Grassroots Fund- $3000
- RSF Social Finance Seed Fund- $2000
- Hosted a successful online pledge drive, raising $10,223 from private donors in 60 days.
- Hosted annual Ice Cream Social fundraiser, raising over $1,500, a 60% increase from 2009.
Accepted to participate in the RSF Social Finance Food and Agriculture Focus Fund Sharing Program
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
The hearing for the Urban Agriculture Zoning Proposal is today, at 1:30pm at City Hall Room 400. More information about the proposal can be found on the SFUAA website. I strongly urge anyone invested in community and market gardens in San Francisco to go show your support (supporters are wearing green). Below is the letter I wrote and sent to the members of the planning commission in support of the proposal.
Dear Members of the Planning Commission:
I am the director of a small non-profit, Produce to the People, a project of the San Francisco Parks Trust. I am also a founding and organizing member of the Free Farm, a 1/3 acre community garden in the Western Addition/Tenderloin that grows and distributes fresh produce for free. Through both of these projects, I have played a part in the distribution of over 9,000 lbs of locally grown fruits and vegetables to people in need in our community, provided meaningful summer employment to 9 youth, and aided in the garden education of over 60 youth, all in the last year and a half.
I urge you to support the urban agriculture zoning proposal introduced in December (Ordinance 101537), along with a few important amendments detailed below. I strongly believe community gardens act as sites that foster not only the growth of nourishing produce, but also the connection between city dwellers and our environment, our food system, and each other. I believe in the preventative care that nutritious food affords our more vulnerable populations, who may not financially have access to it, and the benefits to our community as a whole when we are healthier. I have seen firsthand the joy and strength that comes from offering people the chance to connect with the earth, to be involved in team work, and to cultivate life in the often harsh environment of a city.
San Francisco is at the forefront of the urban agriculture movement and that we have the potential to make simple policy changes that will act as a model for other cities and towns. I support this zoning proposal for both the inception of new gardens, as well as the ability for existing gardens to sell their goods, and in turn support their projects and the hard-working people who cultivate them. This proposal supports a local food system and in turn, a local economy, both lending greatly to the vibrancy and sustainability of San Francisco as a whole.
I would urge you to support the following changes to the proposal, all of which would have hindered projects I have been a part of at one point:
1) Remove or waive the “change of use” permit fees for urban agriculture projects.
Many garden projects, including two I have been a part of in the last year, the Free Farm and the Mission High School garden, begin and continue to operate with little to no funding, supported by volunteer efforts and in-kind donations. If these currently thriving projects had faced an initial fee of $300, they may never have gotten off the ground.
2) Remove any fencing requirement.
As with the “change of use” permit fees, fencing requirements are an additional expense that many gardens may not be able to afford.
3)Allow sales of value-added products and pooled produce on site.
Value-added products and pooled produce creates the potential for increased revenue for small market garden businesses and fund raising opportunities for non-profit projects, strengthening our local economy and allowing a greater possibility for self-sustaining non-profits and CBO’s.
I appreciate your consideration and sincerely hope that you will support the proposal with the amendments outlined above.
Produce to the People