2016 flower apprenticeship

June 20th, 2016 by caitlyn

IMG_8030

Flower season is here again at Little City Gardens, and we’re looking for a 2016 flower apprentice!

After last year’s move toward more significant flower production, we’re continuing to hone our flower growing and bouquet making skills. We’ve expanded our dahlia patch and increased the amount of bed space devoted to other summer blooms. We’re growing some of our favorite flowers from the past couple of seasons, and we’re experimenting with a few new varieties and textures. We’re building on last year’s lessons and momentum, working with old customers and new, and we’re approaching this summer with efficiency and artistry in mind. We’d love some help working with these beauties, and we’d love to share with you some of what we’ve learned so far.

What we can offer:

  • In-depth explanation of our methods of flower production as we’ve developed them, from soil care, to plant spacing, to crop maintenance
  • Harvest practices and tips
  • Bouquet making basics
  • Continual conversation about the ins and outs of running a small urban farm business, observations about sales outlets, customer relationships and pricing
  • Weekly flowers & veggies to take home
  • Your weekly horoscope

Ideal interns will be:

  • Organized and thorough
  • Excited to learn about flower growing
  • Have a good eye for color and texture
  • Invigorated by ambitious, focused work and willing to get dirty
  • Able to get up early and spend mornings outside
  • Available Wednesday mornings 7am-noon, mid July – end of September

Internship tasks:

  • Harvest, trim and sort flowers
  • Help with bouquet making and wrapping
  • Help with cleanup (bucket washing, pruner care)
  • Occasional crop maintenance (weeding, deadheading, fertilizing, etc)

TO APPLY:

Please send an email to littlecitygardens@gmail.com (subject FLOWER APPRENTICESHIP) responding briefly to the following questions. Deadline for applications is Monday June 27th. Applicants will ideally be available for 2-3 hours on Weds July 6th or Thursday July 7th to join us for a working interview on the farm.

    • Describe your interest (and/or experience — though none is required) in farming or working with flowers.
    • What skills do you bring?
    • What’s most compelling to you about farming in the city? Why is it important?
    • Are you available on Wednesday mornings July – Sept? (Please mention any out of town plans).
    • How long have you lived in SF? What other kinds of things do you like to do?

We can’t wait to hear from you!

flower internship

IMG_7691

IMG_7676

PLANT SALE! Saturday May 14th

April 27th, 2016 by caitlyn

plant sale poster website

PLANT SALE & SPRING FAIRE!
Saturday May 14th
11-5pm
at the farm, 203 Cotter St**

This spring we’ve been nurturing seedlings for your own summer garden. Come load up on plants, tour the farm, learn some great gardening tips, listen to music and enjoy some sunshine!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Scheduled activities:

FARM TOUR – 12pm & 3pm
Have you still never seen one of SF’s most beautiful acres? Join Caitlyn for a brief 20 minute farm tour, with Q & A focusing on tips and techniques for your own garden!

LIVE FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS – All Day
Juna Alinea, one of our 2015 summer flower apprentices and a very talented florist, will be back with her van / mobile floral studio, offering stunning spring arrangements

LIVE WATERCOLOR PORTRAITS – All Day
Back by popular demand! Get your portrait painted by Joe Ferriso!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Also with SPECIAL GUESTS:

The Garden for the Environment: learn all about worm composting, and get info about workshop and gardening opportunities out at this incredible garden in the Sunset. The GFE is an indispensable gardening resource here in the city

Fog City Gardener: another local grower joining us with varieties of tomatoes conducive to SF’s unique summer climate

1849 Medicine Garden: learn more about herbal medicine made from plants grown right here in SF

Churn Creamery: small-batch ice cream, featuring a some ingredients from the farm

Beekeepers: Join one of our resident beekeepers, Diana, for beekeeping info and some honey-related goods

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

See you there!

**Parking: please note parking is limited in this residential area, so arrival by bicycle, MUNI (J-train to Santa Rosa Ave), BUS (14 to Silver Ave) or BART (Glen Park) is strongly encouraged when possible. Please respect our neighbors by not blocking driveways.

**Accessibility: the farm path from the front gate to the main faire area is unpaved, with patchy grass and dirt. If you need wheelchair assistance, or have any questions about accessibility, please email littlecitygardens@gmail.com.

**Restrooms: There is no restroom onsite. The nearest facilities are at the Excelsior Public Library two blocks away (Mission & Cotter) — open 10am-6pm.

spring update

March 22nd, 2016 by caitlyn

IMG_9686

Many of you have been asking about the status of our lease now that Golden Bridges School, the new property owners, are moving forward with the permitting process required to build their campus onsite. While in January we were heartbroken to announce an imminent lease termination date, we are very relieved to be in conversation about a possible extension to this timeline.

While the conversation is ongoing, and the situation is complicated, the season’s clock is ticking away. Seeds must be sown now or never, if we are to make the best of this season, so we’re forging ahead as best we can. Most of the dahlias are in the ground and many seeds are sown in the greenhouse, and our hopes are high that we’ll be able to see this spring work bear fruit (or flowers, rather!) later this season. Each bed turned and prepped feels like a gesture of hope.

We’re still delivering weekly to restaurants, mostly from our fall-planted beds of green garlic, beets, swiss chard, fava and pea greens, carrots, and herbs. We’re also putting together plans for our weekly CSA for May (sign up for our email list here if you’re interested in emails once boxes become available). And please note, we’re planning a very exciting farm event later this Spring, to be announced soon…!

Make sure you’re following our daily photos here so you can see how lush everything is after all this recent rain! And thank you all sincerely for your words of support and encouragement, we definitely never feel alone out there at the farm.

2nd ANNUAL WINTER FAIRE

November 24th, 2015 by caitlyn

Please join us at the farm for our 2nd Annual Winter Faire & Holiday Market!

SATURDAY DECEMBER 12th
10am – 4pm
at the farm, 203 Cotter St in the Outer Mission**

The scene:
Once again, we’ll have a crackling fire in the chiminea and lights strung about, hot soup and hot beverages. There will be scheduled farm tours and herb walks, kids’ activities, a puppet show, and music. The paths will be mowed and tidy, and we’ll put our very last flowers in vases for you. You can peruse tables filled with top notch Bay Area goods, perfect for all your holiday gift giving, and then sit on blankets by the fire in the low December light, enjoying some music and hot refreshments. It’s been another long, focused season at the farm, and we are very excited to open up the gate, sip some hot tea with you, and mark the end of 2015.

The goods:
The faire will be a one stop shop for really incredible gifts! We’ll have Little City goods — more tote bags (back by popular demand!), a fresh made batch of herbal remedies, seeds we’ve saved this year, and some farm drawings and dried flower artwork made by some of our nearest and dearest farm regulars. There will also be an impressive array of herbal medicine makers, beekeepers, jewelers, woodworkers, ceramicists, knitters, painters, florists, and cheesemakers offering their wares!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Scheduled activities:

FARM TOUR – 11am & 2pm
Want to roam the farm and check out the crops? Curious about what we do, our history, and what we have in store for the coming season? Join Caitlyn for a brief 20 minute farm tour, with Q & A!

HERB WALK – 3pm
Bonnie Weaver, an herbalist and long time Little City Gardens volunteer, will lead a short walk through the farm, identifying common medicinal weeds and highlighting their benefits and uses. This is also a great chance to learn about the plants that have gone into our Little City Gardens herbal salve, hand cream, and herbal mist — available once again at the faire.

PUPPET SHOW – 11:30am & 12:30pm
Preschool and Kindergarden teachers from Golden Bridges School will present a hand puppet show!

LIVE FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS – All Day
Juna Alinea, one of our summer flower apprentices and a very talented florist, will be parking her converted van / floral studio onsite and making stunning arrangements on demand

LIVE WATERCOLOR PORTRAITS – All Day
Get your portrait painted by Joe Ferriso!

RAFFLE! – all day
Enter for your chance to win dinner for two (or equivalent) to one of the fine restaurants we work with — Outerlands, Californios, Kronnerburger or Tartine Bakery! Winning names will be drawn at the end of the day.

Please join us for a fantastic time on one of the most beautiful acres in the city! We’d love to see you!

**Parking: please note parking is limited in this residential area, so arrival by bicycle, MUNI (J-train to Santa Rosa Ave) or BART (Glen Park) is strongly encouraged when possible. Please respect our neighbors by not blocking driveways.

**Accessibility: the farm path from the front gate to the main faire area is unpaved, with patchy grass and dirt. If you need wheelchair assistance, or have any questions about accessibility, please email littlecitygardens@gmail.com.

**Restrooms: There is no restroom onsite. The nearest facilities are at the Excelsior Public Library two blocks away (Mission & Cotter) — open 10am-6pm.

thanksgiving

November 17th, 2015 by caitlyn

We’re now accepting preorders for Thanksgiving boxes!

Boxes will include our lovingly crafted salad mix*, along with a selection of other veggies and herbs from the farm. We’ve been working hard these past few months to diligently plan out, seed, weed, cover, and tend to these crops in perfect time for your holiday feasts.

* If you’re new to the Little City Gardens salad mix, here’s what to expect: a diverse, wildcrafted blend including a dozen different varieties of tender greens, herbs, and edible flowers. It is a unique, lovingly crafted mix that is as flavorful as it is beautiful. Just dress it lightly with olive oil and salt and you have an impressive ready-made side dish to feed your family and friends. It’s long been our most popular item, and sells out quickly!

Below is what we have available for Thanksgiving, by pre-order only. Availability is limited, and first come first serve, so please do get your orders in as soon as possible! We’ll confirm your order and provide additional pickup details by email.

THANKSGIVING FARM BOX (special price): $25
salad mix (1/2 lb bag)*
1.5 lb sunchokes (incredibly delicious root crop, highly recommended!)
1 bunch greens (lacinato kale or collard greens)
1 bunch turnips (salad turnips, great fresh or lightly cooked0
1 bunch mixed herbs (bundle of thyme, rosemary, marjoram, sage etc)

Individual items (as add-ons to the farm box only):
sunchokes — $4.50/lb
lacinato kale — $2.50/bu
rainbow chard — $2.50/bu
mixed herb bundles — $5/bu
turnips — $3.50/bu

Please email orders in no later than Sunday 11/22 at 9pm — littlecitygardens@gmail.com, subject THANKSGIVING ORDER.

Pickup is Wednesday 11/25, 4-5:30pm — at the farm (203 Cotter St).

Thank you for your support, and for putting our city-grown veggies on your holiday tables!

summer & fall

November 10th, 2015 by caitlyn

We’re still in the thick of the season over here, filling weekly orders of vegetables, herbs and cut flowers for restaurants and wholesale accounts. The flower season has lasted much longer than I anticipated, which is satisfying and helpful. Usually our predictions are more ambitious than actual yields, not the other way around!

We’re saving seeds, tending to our young fall crops, planning for winter, getting ready for Fall CSA orders, and getting beds turned and cover crop sown.

Please stay tuned for more info about ordering salad mix for Thanksgiving, our second annual Winter Faire at the farm (Sat December 12th, mark your calendars, it’s going to be a good one!!), Little City herbal products, and reflections on our sixth season. (And, in the meantime, head over to instagram!).

poetry at the farm

October 1st, 2015 by caitlyn

Please join us at the farm for an outdoor poetry reading at dusk. The dahlias will still be blooming their last blooms, the air will smell like fennel, and the fireplace will be ablaze.

readings by:
Jackson Meazle
Rod Roland
Micah Ballard

Saturday October 10th – 6pm

Bring a blanket to sit on and a mug to drink out of.

See you there!

flower internship

June 21st, 2015 by caitlyn

Little City Gardens is looking for a summer flower intern!

For the past two seasons, we’ve been increasing our flower production here at the farm, especially in the summer months. Cut flowers contribute to the farm’s financial stability and feel like an important addition to the conversation about how urban farming can fit into a local marketplace. Plus, after years of growing primarily greens, herbs, and cool season veggies (which we still grow), we take total delight in watching the farm explode in colors and textures! The dahlia’s fiery colors warm up San Francisco’s foggy gray days.

This 2015 season, our flower production is increasing significantly. We’ve spent the spring seeding, transplanting and tending to thousands of young plants, and as we watch them grow closer to bloom time, we are gearing up for a very busy summer of flower harvesting and bouquet making.

We’d love some help in this experiment, and we’d love to share with you some of what we’ve learned so far! Do you have some free time this summer? Do you want to learn more about small-scale farming, flower growing, and bouquet making? Want to spend time on one of the most beautiful acres in the city?

What we can offer:

  • In-depth explanation of our methods of flower production as we’ve developed them, from soil care, to plant spacing, to crop maintenance
  • Harvest practices and tips
  • Bouquet making basics
  • Continual conversation about the ins and outs of running a small urban farm business, observations about sales outlets, customer relationships and pricing
  • Weekly flowers & veggies to take home
  • Chocolate at lunch, pretty much always

Ideal interns will be:

  • Organized and thorough
  • Excited to learn about flower growing
  • Have a good eye for color and texture
  • Invigorated by hard work and willing to get dirty
  • Able to get up early and spend mornings outside
  • Available one consistent day per week (TBD, likely Weds) mid July – Sept (approx 8 weeks)

Internship tasks:

  • Harvest, trim and sort flowers
  • Help with bouquet making and wrapping
  • Help with cleanup (bucket washing, pruner care)
  • Occasional crop maintenance (weeding, deadheading, fertilizing, etc)

TO APPLY:

Please send an email to littlecitygardens at gmail (subject FLOWER INTERNSHIP) responding briefly to the following questions. Deadline for applications is Monday June 29th. Applicants will ideally be available for 2-3 hours on Weds July 1st or Weds July 8th for a working introduction / interview on the farm.

  • Describe your interest (and/or experience — though none is required) in farming or working with flowers.
  • What skills do you bring?
  • What’s most compelling to you about farming in the city? Why is it important?
  • Are you available on Wednesday mornings July – Sept? If not, what days are you most available? (Please also mention any out of town plans).
  • How long have you lived in SF? What other kinds of things do you like to do?
  • We can’t wait to hear from you!

salad & flowers this week!

April 2nd, 2015 by caitlyn

Hello everyone — we have a few shares of salad & flowers left for pickup this Friday! Please see below for a description of this week’s box (and how to order), and further below for a description of our weekly CSA plans for the spring season.

GET YOUR SALAD & VEGGIES FOR THIS WEEKEND!

Do you need flowers to dress up your brunch table this weekend? Or want to treat yourself to the tastiest salad mix around? Or feel compelled to support one of your favorite urban farms? Get your orders in! We look forward to feeding you!

This week’s box ($20):
salad mix (1/2 pound bag)*
beautiful wild spring flower bouquet

Additional items available:
extra salad mix ($10/bag)
mixed herb bundles ($4/bunch)
bunching onions ($3/bunch)
spearmint ($2/bunch)

Pickup this week will be FRIDAY 4/3 from 4-5:30 at the farm (203 Cotter St).

To order, just send a quick email to littlecitygardens@gmail.com (subject: SALAD & FLOWERS) specifying how many boxes you’d like (and how many extras). We’ll send an email back to confirm your order.

Please order by the end of the day Thursday 4/2. Orders will be filled first come first served.

* Our salad mix is a carefully crafted blend of over 25 different tender greens, herbs, and edible flowers, and the makeup of the mix changes with the season. Featured in the mix this spring: miner’s lettuce, edible chrysanthemum, spicy mustards, and tangy sorrel. It’s slightly different each week, but it’s always a crowd pleaser. Dress lightly with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

Salad testimonials:

“Your salad was mind blowing! I’m still reveling in its complexity. Thanks for the advice to just add a little olive oil and salt!”

“The salad was the hit of our dinner, with everyone so curious about all the different shapes and colors.”

“Your salad mix is A-MAZE-ING.”

“Your salad mix is soooo addictive!!!!”

“My picky eight year old son can’t get enough of your salad mix — he asks for more.”

***********************

Spring CSA plans:

We’ve spent some time in the past few weeks weighing options (and chatting with some of you!) about how best to approach a CSA program this spring. Ultimately we’ve decided to continue on with the week-by-week program that’s already in place and is working well. While a committed membership for a set amount of time has its benefits (upfront payment in a lean time of year, consistency, familiarity, and streamlined communication), we are also excited to remain as accessible as possible to you, our community of customers. It’s important to us that you are able to join in and support the farm when you can, and to feel able to skip a week without hassle when you need to. It’s also helpful for us to be able to maintain flexibility in our availability, not needing to fret if we are offering the same box two weeks in a row.

So what does this mean? For the duration of the spring, sign up for our email list, and watch out for our weekly emails! We’ve timed and coordinated a steady stream of salad, veggies and flowers (in different combination) for the rest of the spring, and we’ll continue to take email orders, first come first served, as we’ve been doing. The pickup day/time may occasionally vary from week to week, allowing more of you to participate throughout the season.

We are excited to continue connecting with you all, and we look forward to nourishing you with farm fresh goods.

winter

January 19th, 2015 by caitlyn

One season bleeds into the next here in San Francisco, so while fellow cold climate farmers are hunkering down for the winter, planning, resting, and ordering seeds, we’re already digging over here in with no time to spare. Spring CSA announcements and 2014 reflections to come soon, but until then, here are a few winter photos. As always, there’s always plenty look at over on our Instagram, too.

Happy New Year everyone! We’re entering our sixth season.

housing in san francisco

December 21st, 2014 by caitlyn

I’m going to interrupt farm news and winter updates with a personal announcement here: after some severe leaks in this past storm that lead to partial ceiling collapse, my housing situation has recently and suddenly become unstable. In maybe the toughest housing climate San Francisco has ever seen, I am looking for a new place to live.

At first I debated posting this here, unsure of the relevance of this personal situation to the farm’s audience. But after some thought, and considering the original aims and questions of Little City Gardens, I realize that it couldn’t possibly be more relevant. Can farming be financially viable in San Francisco? Can anyone make a living, or contribute to a living, from this work in this city? Can a working farm be a permanent, dynamic fixture in the city? My personal situation here sheds light on the intensely precarious context within which these questions are asked — the ongoing housing crisis and incredibly high cost of living in San Francisco.

While I’m fortunate that my case doesn’t involve all-too-common eviction, or the often abused Ellis Act, I am nevertheless, like too many of my neighbors, finding myself suddenly thrust into the skyrocketing and inaccessible rental market, feeling scared, unequipped, and vulnerable. My work as a very modestly paid farmer, artist, and active community member suddenly has much less recognizable value when placed into the realm of the housing market. This reality, in the context of this urban farm project and ongoing dialogue, feels relevant and important to document here.

My partner (a public school teacher here in SF) and I are spreading the word far and wide in hopes of finding something that hasn’t appeared on the heartbreaking Craigslist scene. While we are aware of the tenants’ rights that are on our side in this situation, and have met with the invaluable SF Tenants Union, the landlord hostility we’ve been met with, along with the slow and unclear repair timeline, renders this situation shaky and unsafe. San Franciscans, if you know of an apartment, a cottage, or an in-law unit that needs two creative, quiet, hard working, modestly living people to warm it up, please do be in touch. We’re looking and staying hopeful.

Readers from afar, see more articles here and here for further reading about San Francisco’s housing climate, its far reaching implications, and some of the ongoing work surrounding it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

UPDATE: We’ve moved and feel fortunate to be able to hang on in the city a bit longer. Thank you all for the encouragement and suggestions.