Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Well friends, it's been a minute!  Or rather, a couple years!  That is a story that I do intend to tell as I appreciate transparency, but I'll table it for right now and just say....

Produce to the People is making a comeback for 2015!  It will be short but sweet, we are planning to open our programming back up at a limited capacity with the intention to tie up loose ends, grow a few more plants, pick a little bit more fruit, offer a little bit more community workshops and get togethers, and then say our final goodbye at the end of the year.  We're super grateful to our fiscal sponsor, The San Francisco Parks Alliance, for allowing us the space to finish up our programming in a way that feels true to the initial vision of Produce to the People, to celebrate the really local food and gardens and knowledge and care that we're cultivating right here in this tiny, still vibrant city.

Fun stuff we're working on or have coming up:

Re-vamping the Mission Branch Library Garden!  So far I've just been pulling A LOT of weeds, but compost this week and then we'll be planting it out with dwarf fruit trees and perennial herbs, for ease of future maintenance.  I'm really thrilled about this project, I know it's much smaller than some of our past gardens, but it emblematic of what a livable city could look like if we shift our priorities.  Thanks to Laura and Maricela at the library and Nicole from Garden for the Environment for connecting us.

Mission Library weedy raised bed!

Tea and Toast!  Since making and canning jam has been a big part of Produce to the People over the years, we'd like to keep jamming with you all!  In the past our jams have served as a fundraiser for the project, but since we're no longer raising $, we're going host some pretty low key free toast and jam get togethers with hot tea from SF grown medicinal (and tasty!) herbs.  These will be very informal pop up gatherings.  Everyone is welcome.  Stay tuned for dates!

We'll also be having jam tastings with a few youth cooking classes at SF schools, and will report back about fun times!

jam on it!

We'd also like to sponsor some workshops over the year so that they can be offered free to the public, and while we've got a few in the works already, if you have an idea, a skill set, a venue, etc., please get in touch and let us know!  We're looking for things that fall within our realm of programming- but that could be interpreted pretty expansively- anywhere between plants and food and community would work for us!  Heads up that we surely won't be able to host everyone's idea, but we'd love to hear from you if you have one and maybe we can make something happen!

Looking forward to a fruitful year <3 div="">

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Food Preservation Workshop Series!

Hey Friends! This workshop series isn't exclusively PTTP, but the profits from the first workshop on canning JAM go to benefit PTTP! See you there!

Lauren Anderson, director of Produce to the People, and Finn Cunningham, writer of the Mental Health Cookbook, will be offering a four part workshop series this January on Jamming, Fermenting, Pickling and Sprouting. Learn traditional kitchen skills by attending one workshop, or participate in the whole series. Workshops are hands-on, most processes will be done together during the class and each class will send you home with a jar of something homemade and delicious. All classes will be taught in a home kitchen in Bernal and registration will be limited to eight students per class. To register for each class, simply click on the sliding scale amount that feels best for your budget, or register for the entire series with the sliding scale links all the way at the bottom.
See you in January!

Jam and Intro to Water Bath Canning: January 8th, 1-3pm
This workshop will teach the basics of fruit jam cooking and canning, as well as introductory water bath canning, which can be applied to many of the preservation techniques taught in later workshops (although this canning process will only be demonstrated during the jam workshop). Participants will leave with one 8oz. jar of homemade canned jam.
Sliding scale: $20, $25, or $30
(profits from this workshop go to benefit Produce to the People)

Fermentation: January 15th, 1-3pm
Come learn about the basics of fermentation and the benefits of probiotics. We'll be demonstrating how to make yogurt, kimchi and sauerkraut at home and participants will leave with a jar of kraut.
Sliding scale: $20, $25 or $30

Pickles: January 22nd, 1-3pm
This workshop will focus on vegetable pickling and will demonstrate both pickling with vinegar as well as salt brining. Participants will leave with a pint jar of vinegar pickles.
Sliding scale: $20, $25, or $30

Sprouting: January 29th, 1-3pm
Come learn about the nutritional benefits of sprouting and how to incorporate sprouts into your diet. We'll cover how to sprout beans, grains, seeds and greens and we'll be making sprouting jars to use at home.
Sliding Scale: $20, $25 or $30

To register for the entire series, click here:
Workshop Series: Sliding Scale: $80, $100, $120

Please feel free to contact us with any questions:

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ice Cream to the People!

It's that time of year... the rains (sort-of, maybe, a little bit) let up, the sun comes out, the wind no longer knocks you off your bicycle at every corner. San Francisco summer may not look like shorts and flip-flops, but it certainly looks like... ICE CREAM!


Maybe you're sending positive energy out to the summer solstice, maybe you need to do something moderately wholesome after Pride weekend, maybe you just want to support local food systems and meet other folks who do too! What better way to multi-task than by supporting a community food organization while eating delicious treats, bidding on auction goodies, and cornering the raffle?!

Ice Cream to the People!
a benefit for Produce to the People

Thursday, June 30th, 2010. 5:30-9pm
El Rio (Mission @ Precita)

$10-30 suggested donation
(no one turned away for lack of funds)

Ice Cream Social!

locally harvested fruit compotes and homemade herb syrups by Produce to the People
Ice Cream Scooped by TEAM SCOOP!

Herbal Tarot by Karin Von
Feel Good Jamz by Gigi Didi

Silent Auction!

Awesome Workshops!!
Bread or Bagel Baking with Sour Flour
Magical Potions with Finn Cunningham of As We Can
Home Canning Fruit Jams and Butters with Lauren Anderson of Produce to the People

Amazing Art Work!!
Red Cruiser (Red Cruiser Etsy Shop)
Chantilly Lace Terrariums

Fabulous Goodie Baskets!!
featuring delicious preserved goods, jams, fruit butters, chutneys, pickles, herbed salts and sugars and more! As well as delightful home made bath goods, shampoo, lip balm, bath salts, and more!
Goodies by:
Sara Seinberg

Raffle Raffle!
featuring Gift Certificates and Books from:

We'll be updating this page as more awesome donations come in, so please check back! See you at El Rio!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2010 Annual Report

Produce to the People (PttP) has made great progress in 2010 as we began our second year of operation. We saw expansion and honing in each of the four projects that interweave to form our programming as a whole. We harvested and grew over 3 tons of fresh, organic, San Francisco produce, supporting our mission to ensure access to local, nourishing food for low-income members of our community. We met many wonderful new volunteers, and worked with an amazing group of young people, creating community by working together, sharing resources, and uniting over healthy food.

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.
Community Gardens Project

  • 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.
The Free Farm (FF)

  • 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.

Jam and Canning Project

  • 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.

Financial Support

  • 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

Want to help organize our annual Ice Cream Social?

I'm looking for a friendly volunteer that would like to help plan our annual "Ice Cream to the People" fundraiser, scheduled for June 30, 2011 at El Rio. No event planning experience required. You should be outgoing and feel comfortable talking to local businesses about Produce to the People, and asking for donations. Time commitment is flexible- minimal (1-2 hours a week) through March and April, and will increase (up to 3-5 hours a week) in May and June as we start picking up donations, publicizing the event, organizing volunteers, creating signage, etc.

Responsibilities include:
--Chatting up local businesses and makers via email, phone, and in person, for gift certificates for our raffle and items for our silent auction. Items and gift certificates have typically been focused on the local food movement in San Francisco.
--Picking up donations for raffle and silent auction, ice cream and toppings!
--Event publicity, posting event details on listservs and local event listings, posting and dropping flyers off around town
--Creating any signage and displays for the event
--Organizing volunteers for the event
--Helping out at the event (this will be minimal work, and mostly fun!)

If you're interested, please contact Lauren at, with a brief description of your interests in Produce to the People, helping with the event, any relevant experience, and your availability. Formal resumes are not necessary.

Thank you!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Support Letter for the Urban Agriculture Zoning Proposal

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.

Best regards,

Lauren Anderson


Produce to the People