Tree, Free Farm Stand & Free Farm
Tree has been running food programs and gardening for over 20 years. He has run community gardens, food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens and has published guides to help people find free places to eat and sleep. His passion for growing and serving food in a communal manner is why Free Farm Stand started.
“Free Farm Stand was born with the idea of sharing the wealth of urban farms and gardens,” Tree explains. “I thought let’s grow food, get our neighbors growing food, and share the surplus with those in need.”
The Free Farm Stand acts as a gathering place in the Mission, a once primarily Latino neighborhood in San Francisco, that is currently struggling with increasing gentrification, high rents, evictions, and poor people getting pushed out.
The food given away at the Stand is gathered through a surplus from various farmer’s markets, community gardens, private gardens and public and private fruit trees. Not only does this act of giving encourage community involvement, but it also helps establish food security and health consciousness by supplying garden and food education, in addition to growing, collecting and giving away organic produce.
Tree explains, “We take steps towards rebuilding communities by bringing people back into the commons for the Free Farm Stand, creating space for communities to talk, learn, and work together at the Free Farm and other gardens.”
Funds from The Pollination Project will be used to create an educational information booth at the Free Farm Stand which will help empower neighbors to grow some of their own food and learn how to eat healthy.
GRANT AWARD DATE: OCTOBER 27, 2013