This weekend we galavanted off to the Hayes Valley Farm Homestead Skillshare Festival. There we discovered a vibrant array of homesteaders of all levels, chatting and exchanging information and smiles throughout the day. From cheese making to disaster preparedness, people of the Bay picked up skills that they may have never contemplated before. And with sliding scale donations or the timebank option, how could we stay away? Here’s an overview of some of the happenings.
We learned about East Bay Cohousing, a network of people who live harmoniously with each other and their environment within a cooperative community. Cooperative lifestyles encourage sharing, cultivate compassion, develop neighborhoods, and produce enormous benefit for all members. They offer a concrete solution for people wishing to transition to alternative lifestyles.
We attended a workshop by a member of Alemany Farm about year round gardening in San Francisco. Did you know it is possible to produce food 365 days of the year here due to our coastal Mediterranean microclimate? Plants like kale, collards, potatoes, beans, fava, and lettuce are common crops that can be grown any day in a SF garden. We learned about the importance of soil amendments, container gardening, pest management, and the importance of planning out succession crop rotation.
The Protero Hill Seed Library explained the importance of saving seed and how we need to regain this vital skill that is endangered, which in turn endangers our food supply. We networked with them due to our interest in starting a seed library and seed swap at the USF Community Garden. Good things are germinating.
We stumbled upon the Open Collaborative Encyclopedia. This book, openly written and edited similarly to Wikipedia, is an encyclopedia of open ways of collaboration. It is a useful guide on how to cultivate transparency, communication and sharing and reap the bountiful benefits. We are very excited to read more on their blog.
Other interesting things to check out:
Taproot Medicine, with a powerful Strong Woman Syrup handmade in Oakland. It “is an iron rich, nutrient dense herbal tonic” and part of a larger “movement towards true health care, helping others heal themselves with plant medicine.”
Green City Calendar from Planet Drum Foundation.
The always wonderful San Francisco Permaculture Guild.
When like-minded people from different backgrounds come together, energy and knowledge transfers and grows as everyone shares together. Events like these help disseminate knowledge and build community support around skills and lessons vital to the health and well being of everyone. We say the Hayes Valley Farm Homestead Skillshare Festival was a smashing success.
-Lily and Kristina