Harvest Festival & Plant Sale

Come to the Harvest Festival & Fall Plant Sale!
Saturday, 10/23: 10 am – 2 pm. Learn more.
harvest festival flyer showing information included in body of the email
We are excited to welcome you back to the farm for the first Harvest Festival since the pandemic began: next Saturday, October 23, from 10 am – 2 pm!

Plus we’ll hold our final plant sale of the season. Masks are required for this event. Bring a small token to place on the farm altar (a photo, an intention, something to let go of, or an offering to the earth).

Festival features include:

Enjoy a kids music session with Emily Shumway from 10:30-11 am, live string music from 12-1 pm, courtesy of your favorite local old time music ensemble and mine: The Knuckle Knockers.
The final fall plant sale, including seasonally-appropriate crops to fill out your fall and winter garden (more information below).
pickling station with Master Food Preserver and SF Rec & Park Department’s very own Mei Ling Hui.
Make your own salt scrubs with Clinical Herbalist & author, Bonnie Rose Weaver.
Garlic planting – it’s a tradition for our fall festival.
Tour the farm: Get reacquainted with your neighborhood agricultural site; learn about the history of the land, discover how it has changed and grown during the pandemic.
Tour the expanded vineyard and hear about the 280 Project’s pilot apprenticeship program, led by our resident visionary, mover, and shaker, Christopher Renfro.
Learn about local apiculture at Alemany Farm’s beehives, where SF Beekeepers’ Association will lead a workshop.

Masks required at Harvest Fest!

Harvest Festival will include our final fall plant sale of the season. We will have a wide variety of seasonally-appropriate veggie starts, plus culinary and medicinal herbs. Check out all of the plants we have in stock before you come, and bring trays to help yourself carry everything home. Our inventory usually moves quickly, so don’t wait until the last minute to show up!
Cash preferred (our new card reader works intermittently). 
Suggested donation: $5 per 6-pack or 4″ pot, $10 per gallon pot,
$15 per tree.

Parking is available off the gravel driveway inside the farm gate. Masks required.

The Alemany Farmers will be on site throughout the sale to meet, greet, and consult with you. All donations directly support farm operations.
alemany farm plant sale flyer showing information provided in the body of email and in link to plant inventory

Final Fall Workshops
Hands On Herbal Medicine: Elderberry Syrup and Immune System Support

Saturday, November 6,  11 am – 1 pm 
On site at Alemany Farm. Bring a mask. Register: Herbal Medicine

various dried herbs and roots in jars and on trays on a marble table
Enjoy “Hands On Herbal Medicine” with Bonnie Rose Weaver, clinical herbalist, medicinal landscaper, and author of Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis.

Learn to make elderberry syrup in this hands-on workshop about herbs to support your immune system this cold and flu season.

Touching Earth: Zen & Farming

Saturday, November 13, 10 – 11:30 am
On Zoom. Register: Zen and Farming

a wreath of white strawberry fruits, blossoms, and foliage against weathered wood boards

Enjoy “Touching Earth” with Sensei Wendy Johnson, author of Gardening at the Dragon’s GateSara Tashker, Dharma Teacher and Farm Manager at Green Gulch Farm; and Jack Thomas, Co-Director at Friends of Alemany Farm.

Witness and join a conversation between three generations of Bay Area farmers and gardeners. Wendy, Sara, and Jack will discuss several methods that transform manual labor and land-based work into an expression of gratitude and a technology for individual and collective healing. Learn how to bring your contemplative practice to life in the garden.

Farm Voices:
Heather Weiss, FOAF Steering Committee Member, on
Food Activism, Farm Practice, & Community Nourishmenta person stands at the end of a wood-mulched pathway and picks beans growing on a long trellisHeather harvests Early Riser pole beans in the western row crop beds. Photo Credit: Navila Hossain, Alemany Farm VolunteerDear Alemany Farm Community,

My name is Heather Weiss and I grew up in and am lucky enough to still call San Francisco my home. As any San Franciscan can tell you, we are passionate about food here. I came to Alemany Farm to connect with food that I had a part in growing, and to be a part of a project that supports food access and autonomy for everyone in San Francisco. Through this access and autonomy, we are currently experiencing and being nourished by the Farm’s wonderful late summer bounty as we enter more fully, with each passing day, into the excitement of the SF second spring—fall. 

My own work with Alemany Farm started in the first half of 2020–the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, and halfway through my Master’s program at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).  It was, as you well know, a time filled with change as well as personal and collective stress. Despite this, I was really excited to connect with a project in San Francisco growing free food – and after the shelter-in-place order went out last March, I reached out to see if I could support the farm. In 2020 and beyond, food justice efforts came to the forefront and became even more important as COVID-19 and the national uprising for Black lives and racial justice underscored inequalities throughout our system. As we saw throughout the pandemic, food security efforts became even more important in San Francisco and across the nation, as so many people were losing jobs and/or access to affordable grocery shopping. Alemany Farm’s activist work of growing and distributing food, as well as the work of creating community space and green space became even more urgently needed.

My first project with  Friends of Alemany Farm was a grant writing collaboration, where we had an opportunity to consider how decisions are made, and reflect on the farm project overall. In the middle of all that COVID stress, I got to log in to video chats with the Friends, meet up in masks on site to hear about what got people excited about the farm, and write my final paper, “Free(way) Food: Politics and power of place at Alemany Farm.” 

Since then, I have joined the farm’s steering committee. Together, we are reconsidering how we work, so that FOAF’s efforts are more aligned with movements for food justice, racial justice, and economic justice. I still go to quite a few video chats and collaborate online, but since it has been safer to be on-site, I have also joined friends and volunteers at the farm and I feel so grateful to be a part of the turning of seasons this year. 

Urban food justice is a response to urban food injustice–the ways that the food system has created gaps, disempowerment, and inequality in terms of access to food that is nutritionally and culturally appropriate. Another way of thinking about that is to consider who has access to growing or getting food and where that food comes from. Take a moment and really consider this: Do you have a say in where your food comes from? Do your neighbors? Do the people in the neighborhood across the city from you? Who grows and makes your food and how? Answers to these questions are deeply connected to histories of racist policies, and systems of marginalization and will look vastly different depending on your race, class, and neighborhood. Urban food justice projects consider these questions and then take action to create spaces of food access that allow more people to have a say in what and how they eat—especially people and communities most marginalized by the dominant food system. Community management, communal work, food that is free, education, and a relationship to place are all a part of food justice.

As a researcher and a student, part of what I do is activist research. The “activist” side of activist research, where action reinforces theory, is really central to my time at Alemany Farm. Food and activism have a long legacy here in the Bay Area as well. Food, especially food in San Francisco, is central to culture(s), but beyond just food and “foodie” culture, food as activism is central to SF culture, too. In the Bay Area, we have a long history of projects that use food as a tool for activism from the Black Panther Party and The Diggers in the 1960s, onward all the way through to today. Today there are so many incredible projects like Alemany Farm, The Gill Tract Farm and Sogorea Te, Acta Non Verba, Planting Justice, Urban Tilth, Community Grows, Florence Fang Community Farm, and shout out to our close community partners Hummingbird Farm & Urban Sprouts. These activist projects—just to name a few—focus on food, justice, and a (re)connection to land. Through projects like this, communities are working to address the need for more food access and more decision making power over our food through growing, distributing, and connecting deeply to the plants we grow and eat. 

On a recent Friday, after working with a team of long-term volunteers and former interns, I loaded up boxes and boxes of produce for distribution to the Free Farm Stand and Food Pantry in the neighboring Alemany Apartments. This big late-summer harvest included lemon cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, zucchini and zucchini flowers, basil, purslane, cherry tomatoes, and of course greens, greens, and more greens! We added boxes of kale, collards, rainbow chard, and lettuce to the already full cart and were ready to send it off to be distributed for free through our partners to support San Franciscans who might not otherwise have access to fresh food grown nearby. Growing food collectively, connecting to place, and being in partnership with other organizations doing this work to connect more San Franciscans to produce is all a part of the food justice mission of Alemany Farm.

While SF is known for its activism, its many cultures, its food, and its vibrancy (all true!), SF has also been and continues to be the site of race and class inequality which limits access to so many things, including food. This history and, let’s be honest, present day blight on our social fabric, is why centering activism and justice in our food project here at Alemany Farm is so critically important. Alemany is a place to practice relationships to land, place, people, and food that allows all to joyfully participate and be nourished. Practice is a big word here for me. We haven’t perfected anything but we’re very interested in getting honest, telling the whole story, and getting experimental. We want to remember, study, and practice old ways—maintained today by indigenous everywhere—and bring in new ways where relationships to land, place, people, and food allow all to participate joyfully, and be nourished.

If you have been on site in the past year to walk through or volunteer, thank you! If you have joined via video conference or online, thank you! If you have eaten something grown at Alemany Farm, thank you!

Hope to see you out there,

overhead photos of trays of various greens and artichokes; someone's forearm extends into the frame to select an artichokeLate summer bounty: A farm volunteer reaches for an artichoke to bring home. Photo by Heather Weiss