Earlier this month, after days of rain, the sun broke through the clouds just in time to shine down on our chapter’s volunteer outing at the Hayes Valley Farm. Once a freeway on-ramp, Hayes Valley Farm is currently a 2.2 acre non-profit urban permaculture demonstration site. With a small startup grant from the City and fiscal sponsorship from the San Francisco Parks Trust, the farm first opened their gates on Jaunary 24, 2010- and the farm is still going strong.
We were amazed to learn that the farm is entirely, and successfully, volunteer run. Plant beds have been laid out strategically to make the most of the natural water flow after rain, most of the materials are either donated or sourced from waste streams, there’s a colorful pastel patch of beehives, and any food grown is either gifted to volunteers or left outside the farm for community members to help themselves from. It was astonishing to learn how little money the farm needs to reach their goals, which they’re clearly doing: raising awareness around sustainability and urban agriculture, offering educational opportunities, reviving a vacant lot, providing green job training, beautifying the neighborhood, and having fun. After our tour, we got down and dirty as we helped plant mini-flats of seedlings.
After the farm closed up for the day, we headed down the street to join other local EPIP-ers at Pause Wine Bar, a sustainably sourced new wine bar on Market. Kevin Schuder,the head chef, came out to share some details about the food and history of Pause while we sipped our wine. The bartender was so knowledgeable about the wine that a few of us just let him choose our drinks- and we were glad we did. It was such a treat to be able to mingle with folks while tasting such amazing wine! The entire day was a blast and several chapter members mentioned wishing they could have been able to volunteer. Stay tuned– there may be more events like this in the future!