Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thank you!

Friends of SF Refresh and the Growing Home Community Garden (GHCG):

We would like to say a big thank you for making the SF Refresh a success. Without your generous participation, we would not be able to have these events that are so crucial to the Bay Area community. SF Refresh consisted of 6 day long events, had 1,612 participants at 8 different community gardens throughout San Francisco. These events have inspired many of the garden sites to now call their learning opportunities "skill shares" and use our model of teaching base level skills to people of all abilities.

We are continuing to utilize what we have learned hosting these events to host Garden Parties following Project Homeless Connect (PHC) events at the GHCG and Bayview Roots Garden (BRG). These garden parties provide continued care for PHC event participants and provide them with opportunities to continue to learn basic life skills, find sober communities and to become involved in their communities. The October garden parties had 86 unique individuals participate in peer led events.

With a little more of your generous participation at these increasingly important events, we hope to reach further into the community. As we said before, your involvement with these events is the key to our success and you are enabling a door to be opened for so many individuals.

The event schedule is as follows:
Thursday, November 10th - Bayview Roots Garden Party. 12-2 PM.
Friday, November 11th - Growing Home Community Garden Party. 12-2 PM.
Thursday, December 15th - Bayview Roots Garden Party. 12-2 PM.
Friday, December 16th - Growing Home Community Garden Party. 12-2 PM.

If you have questions or would like to RSVP to an event, please feel free to contact us at: or 415.503.2196.

Thanks again for all of your help and support at our SF Refresh events.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

183 Participants at 10/25 SF Refresh

Volunter, Dr. Tera Beaber who is a psychologist, celebrated at the final SF Refresh event where 183 unique participants enjoyed free whole body health care at community gardens in Hayes Valley and the Bayview.
Singers of the Street, a choir of homeless and formerly homeless members, participated in their second SF Refresh event. Afterwards, members of the choir enjoyed lunch and learned a new movement based mindfulness meditation.
At the Bayview Roots Garden, 143 unique participants stopped by for lunch, garden, art and mindfulness skill shares.
Members of the Bayview community chat about ways they can use their community garden spaces to continue to provide additional whole body health care services in their neighborhood.
Marlene, of SFHDC, serves a healthy vegan lunch made from local produce by Bayview residents to community members.
Dawn Roginski, provided reiki to individuals who were primarily homeless and formerly homeless at the Hayes Valley Farm.
A resident and volunteer, learns how to use doodling as stress reduction.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

194 Participate in the 9/25 SF Refresh Event

This past Sunday, we held our fifth SF Refresh event. Despite the rainy weather, we had 194 participants, primarily peers. At this event, nearly all of our activities were peer led, including: composting, harvesting, harp therapy, movement, mediation and other activities. To date, 1,429 individuals have participated in our SF Refresh events throughout the city at 8 different community garden sites. Our final event will be on October 15th and will be held at two peer maintained gardens in the Bayview, and two gardens in Hayes Valley (one of which is peer maintained).

Additional outreach opportunities for peers will be held throughout the rest of the year with garden parties following the upcoming Project Homeless Connect (PHC) events. These parties will increase the number of peers participating in our project, provide an opportunity for peers to participate in our green job training curriculum and help connect PHC participants with community gardens in the neighborhoods where they live. The schedule for these events are:

Oct 6th - Bayview Garden Party: Bayview Roots Garden (3rd/Palou)
Oct 7th- Central City Garden Party: Growing Home Community Garden (Octavia/Lily)
Nov 10th - Bayview Garden Party: Bayview Roots Garden(3rd/Palou)
Nov 11th - Central City Garden Party: Growing Home Community Garden (Octavia/Lily)
Dec 15th - Bayview Garden Party: Bayview Roots Garden(3rd/Palou)
Dec 16th - Central City Garden Party: Growing Home Community Garden (Octavia/Lily)

Some photos from the event are included below.
50 participants join us at the Growing Home Community garden, where all activities were peer led.

79 participants joined us at the Bayview Roots garden for lunch and peer led garden activities.

65 people participated in activities at the Hayes Valley Farm

One of the favorite activites was healing harp.

Interplay movement was also fun.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Garden Parties!

This Fall, the Growing Home Community Garden will be hosting garden parties to help people who attend Project Homeless Connect event to become more connected to the communities in which they live. Its a great way to combat loneliness that affects everyone regardless of class, job, or region!

See below for dates and contact us at to volunteer and get involved!

Oct 6th - Bayview Garden Party: Bayview Roots Garden (3rd/Palou)

Oct 7th- Central City Garden Party: Growing Home Community Garden (Octavia/Lily)

Nov 10th - Bayview Garden Party: Bayview Roots Garden(3rd/Palou)

Nov 11th - Central City Garden Party: Growing Home Community Garden (Octavia/Lily)

Dec 15th - Bayview Garden Party: Bayview Roots Garden(3rd/Palou)

Dec 16th - Central City Garden Party: Growing Home Community Garden (Octavia/Lily)

Interested in helping to serve lunch, supporting members of their community, and facilitating beginner art or garden activities? E-mail

Join Us on September 25 for SF Refresh!

On Sunday, September 25, we are thrilled to build on the success of the last four SF Refresh events that brought over 1,000 San Franciscans together in community garden spaces for free whole body care.

Here is a sampling of what you can expect and how you can get involved! (Locations Below).

10:00 AM Open Cathedral (Free Farm)
12:00 PM Sharing a Free Meal (Hayes Valley Farm, Bayview Roots Garden)
12:00 PM Healing Harp (Hayes Valley)
12:00 PM Vespertine Orchestra (Bayview Roots)
12:00 PM Garden skillshares (Growing Home Community Garden)
12:30 PM Container Gardening skillshare (Bayview Roots)
12:30 PM Interplay workshop (Hayes Valley)
12:30 PM Yoga (Growing Home)
1:00 PM Vespertine Orchestra (Bayview Roots)
1:00 PM Garden skillshares (Growing Home)
1:30 PM Yoga (Hayes Valley)
1:30 PM Forgiveness Letters (Bayview Roots)
1:30 PM Worms! Gardening skillshare (Bayview Roots)
2:00 PM Medical Qi Gong (Hayes Valley)
2:00 PM Composting skillshare (Bayview Roots)
2:00 PM Garden skillshares (Growing Home)
2:30 PM Worms! Gardening skillshare (Bayview Roots)
2:30 PM Yoga (Growing Home)
3:00 PM Pocket Gardening skillshare (Bayview Roots)
3:00 PM Garden skillshares (Growing Home)
3:33 PM Meditation (Bayview Roots)
4:00 PM Garden skillshares (Growing Home)

Free Farm (Eddy/Gough)
Hayes Valley Farm (Fell/Laguna)
Growing Home Community Garden (Octavia/Lily)
Bayview Roots (3rd/Palou)

To learn more, visit the SF Refresh blog.

Do you have a skill to share? Join us at SF Refresh!

Contact us at to contribute an activity on September 25th!

Save the Date for our final SF Refresh event on Sat., 10/15

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 20th Event Results

Garden gnomes created at our August 20th event.

‎128 people refreshed and we had 3 new garden sites in the Bayview. Two of these sites provide direct services to low-income, homeless or formerly homeless individuals. People stayed longer and participated more. It was a beautiful day! Check out photos from the event below.

Our day began with breakfast at the Bayveiw Mission orchard, where we then went on a walk and trash pick up.

The Bayview Roots Garden:
Our event created many opportunities to outreach to residents in the Bayview near the 3rd/Palou site and let them know about the garden spaces near them ane how they can be a part of their whole body health care.

Volunteers at the Bayview Roots Garden participated in a peer lead composting skill share and were given a worm compost bin and some of the worms cared for by the members of the Growing Home Community Garden. We're excited to partner with the Bayview Roots Garden to help them (GHCG) to create a program similar to GHCG.

At the Bayview Opera House:

Participants at a sprouting skill share.

Participants learned medicinal Qi Gong.

Jack once again shared his amazing harp therapy.

One of our youngest participants creates a forgiveness letter, one of the healing art projects created for SF Refresh by Melissa Lareau.

Container gardening class teaches individuals how they can have a garden in small spacess and donated additional resources to the Bayview Opera House garden.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Featured Skill Share: Garden Gnomes!

Revel Art Collective member, Rachel Cassandra, will be teaching her class about making Garden Gnomes at the August 20th SF Refresh Event (1pm at the Bayview Opera House). Her class was one of the most talked about activities at the May SF Refresh.

Made from clay, seed and soil these garden gnomes are designed to degrade and plant wild flowers.

An amazing stop motion film was made by the the participants of the who decided to make an impromptu claymation project. The video, made by Revel Art Collective member, Ilyse Magy is below.