farm diary 6/22/11

June 24th, 2011 by caitlyn

A note: So far this blog has been a place for Brooke and me to share our put-together thoughts, major updates, and carefully composed essays, but lately we’ve been needing a space to air some occasional end-of-the-day ramblings as well. A way to communicate to the world our intense and hopeful and frustrating and tiring and beautiful and overwhelming experiences of being farmers in the city, and a way to let you in on the daily conversations we have about urban farming’s complicated politics, its inspiring potential and its disheartening barriers. Because one of the most important aspects of farming in the city is the dialogue that can accompany it. Yes, the cabbage is beautiful and the turnips are sweet and delicious, but…

this work is hard.

And it’s our responsibility — as visible, concerned farmers — to be honest and upfront with you about why and how. So, interspersed amongst the beautiful photos and careful essays, expect some more casual diary entries from us too. It’s the middle of the season and we have a lot to talk about. We’ll gush about our sweet strawberries, rant about the value of land in San Francisco, ramble about the wind or the slugs or the beautiful mornings and also, quite possibly, complain about our achy backs and compromised free time. We’ll be honest about the work we’ve devoted ourselves to, because it is multi-faceted and deserves to be shared.


After our brief two days of sweaty hot summertime here in SF, it was cool and windy at the farm again today. While we weeded the beans and thinned the radishes, B and I talked about Antonio’s article today — how well written it is and how nice and frank he was about the need for us (urban farmers, activists) to maintain critical thought about what exactly it is we are each trying to do here. I see plenty of room (and need) in the city for both volunteer/education-based and commercial/production-based farming (and all possible combinations of the two), and I was glad to read a thoughtful description of both ideas that pointed out benefits and contradictions but didn’t draw any divisive conclusions about either one.

Also, I peeked into our hoop house today and felt so proud. This month’s most exciting success: basil! It’s at least 20 degrees warmer under there and this warm weather crop seems to love it. While we’re buttoning up our jackets and shivering from the chilly afternoon wind, the basil stays protected and cozy, growing visibly everyday.

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