Urban Free Farming?
Blogged on 12/8/2010 by Robert Merryman
The seeds for sharing have been planted in a vacant lot in San Francisco. Located at the corner of Eddy & Gough Streets you’ll find something unofficially tagged as the Free Farm. It’s on the former site of a Lutheran Church, St. Paulus, which was destroyed by fire in 1995 and needed a make-over. After sitting vacant for nearly 15 years and slowly filling with debris, the lot presented an interesting opportunity.
A Mission District resident, a man who calls himself Tree, saw the chance to make a change in the landscape. The 1/3 acre lot is now the home to the Free Farm, an all-volunteer effort to make life a bit easier for those in need of quality food. Granted, the volunteers acknowledged they won’t solve hunger, but make a concerted effort to provide those in need with accessibility to quality organic produce which they otherwise might not be able to afford.
This is not something new for its founder, Tree. In 2008 he established the Free Farm Stand in his neighborhood. According to Tree, together with a team of volunteers, he’s grown and given away more than 6,000 pounds of food to people who otherwise don’t have the means to buy, or have knowledge about, the benefits of quality produce.
As a result, the shepherd of the project, Reverend Megan Rohrer, executive director of Welcome, a non-profit working to end poverty, has convinced six other Bay Area churches to allow vacant lots to be used as urban gardens and farms.
So as you languish in the celebrations of the holiday season, remember there’s always someone with less. Make a difference and volunteer or make a charitable donation to improve the life of another in your community throughout the year.