God Made Dirt so Dirt Don’t Hurt

On Saturday, our little family hitched up the wagon and some buckets and headed down to The Hayes Valley Farm to join the farmers, SF Recology and SF Refresh in The Great Compost Give Away.

As a thank you gift to SF residents for helping to create the highest landfill diversion rate in the country (Yes!), Recology was offering 5 gallons of free compost for each green thumb. Compost that was made in the Bay Area by Bay Areaians, as a result of those green bins we set to the curb every week.

If you were with me last year, you’ll remember that at the start of our Garden Challenge, our biggest hang-up was DIRT. Well, on Saturday we got 5 gallons and then some.

The Recology volunteers were SO warm and friendly. They were absolutely gleeful to be shoveling dirt, directing traffic and answering questions. Several of them hinted multiple times that they really, REALLY didn’t want to have to haul several tons of compost off the lot at the end of the give away…so if we wanted more…a LOT more…it was ours.

So we took our five gallons back to the house, loaded up the car with every bucket and box and storage container we could find and went back.

They cheered when we returned, and helped to load us up with enough soil for our entire container garden this year!

Then we moseyed into the farm for the SF Refresh celebration. Free massage, reiki, yoga, vegan lunch and general loafing around the garden.

Fern got a wheelbarrow ride from her new friend.

The farm is looking lush with springtime and there has been a lot of change over the winter, an obvious effort that really shows as everything goes into bloom.

Unlike conventional agriculture, permaculture is all about diversity and interdependence of plant life. Amongst the curved raised beds, wildflowers and calendula rub shoulders with the veggies.

Fern taste tested the compost and declared it delicious.
One of the new wonderful things on the farm was this tiny club house. From the outside it looked like a hedgehog, with prickles made from splintered pallets. On the inside it was a 70s dream space.

With the push to become a 100% green city, and new laws passed to give SF the most progressive urban agriculture position in the country…if we have to live in a city, this is a pretty great one to be in.

Our weekend was full of a lot of gratitude.

I dare say we’re even lucky?

Happy Monday friends.


11 thoughts on “God Made Dirt so Dirt Don’t Hurt

  1. What a great way to spend your day, gathering dirt! Just happened to mail a package to you today with some “can’t fail” seeds. Happy planting.

    1. A-ha! You finally came out of the reader-closet, Grandma! I’m so glad you did and I can’t wait for the seeds. I didn’t get a chance to tell you yet, but we have LOVED those issues of Mother Earth News you sent and are thinking of subscribing. Would you like some seeds too? I have some great chard, spinach and amaranth that I saved from last year’s harvest, and they have all sprouted.

  2. you are mos def lucky…this post gave me tingles. once, max was playing in one of our compost bins as a baby, while i turned some of them, and i think he must have been getting it in his mouth, and it wasn’t at the safe stage yet. yeah. barf happened. gross. learned not to play in unfinished compost! that is so much fun that you got all that great free dirt. i lOVE that city. you are so right, that is the one to be in. i like your overalls. i was looking at mine just today wondering about them and now i see yours and feel inspired. and fern is definitely inspiring olive with hers. did i ever mention that one morning, i declared it overall day, and all five of us put overalls on, and david’s, i still laugh just thinking of this, gave him the man version of camel toe, what is that called anyways (?), banana pants ?, and we went out to breakfast, meaning he wore them in public, which is so unlike him, and it was the best!! i think he was trying to make something up to me, so he went al out showing me his remorse and love. hahahahahah. they were corduroy too. hahahah. does jeff have overalls? banana pants overalls. i ended up giving them to my sister. they fit her nicely.

    i just want to tell you, your comments on my blog are the best!! i love them always. i try to one up you and come and leave you better ones. maybe not possible. but it’s fun to try.

    i bet you’re gonna have the best container garden ever. better than bill and hillary’s. no one thought they were stupid with their southern accents, now, did they?

    1. uh-oh. i just had a regret about writing about gross clothing fits. i was holding olive’s hand as she feel asleep and had a panic…i’m sorry. there are grandmas reading this. i am pretty sure i would not want to talk about graphic stuffff like that with mine. ugggggh. that is an apology. and an oooops. oopsie. sorry. i’m such a proper southern girl. this dirty shadow girl just totally slips out in inappropriate places sometimes. working on her! where’s the blog for her?

      1. i think it’s ok because everyone has seen the camel toe and banana pants is the funniest thing i’ve heard all year.

        however, i also swear like a sailor and thwart all kinds of conventions so maybe i’m not the best one to ask…

        do you want me to delete it? i don’t want to because that story is hilarious!

    2. banana pants has me snorting every time i think of it. and i LOVE the image of your family going out and david, looking silly in his ill fitting overalls, out of pure love. AWESOME.

      banana pants overalls. HAAAHAAHAAA! oh man. thank you.

      jeff doesn’t have overalls but he does have big jeans in the same fabric (train engineer) as my ‘alls. when fern was 3 mos. old, she had overalls like mine…so one day we all dressed up the same, and decided we should make every sunday family dress alike day. except that was the only day we did it! i tried to get him to wear his engineer pants to the farm, but he wasn’t feelin it.

      btw, those overalls are 17 years old! i’m glad you like them because i was suspect. you should totally wear yours!

      and we are totally even because i always think YOUR comments are the best and i always wish i could respond in a more timely fashion to your posts. loving you, as always!

      1. phew!! i just had one of those panics, you know? do you get those? no , if you are cool with it, i am! i hate having to edit myself……but it’s gotta be done sometimes, i’m just sort-of learning where, by trial and error mostly. me and the kids had a talk about the word fuck the other day. i wish i had video’d it.

  3. Dirrrrrrt is awesome! What an amazing boon for the city gardener, what joy. This event looks wonderful, my spirits lifted just by what happy makings people have around agriculture. We had a little fair with plant starts and permaculture talk here this weekend, and part of me wishes I had gone, because of this kind of festive atmosphere, but instead I stayed in the woods at a friend’s farm watching goats and bees, which was just as good
    I’m excited to see more of your garden and what this beautiful soil will produce.
    As always, thank you for this post.

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