Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bayview Neighborhood Walk and Trash Pick-up

Join us on July 24th in front of the Bayview Opera House (4705 3rd Street), from 8-10am for a neighborhood walk and trash pick-up. We will begin with free breakfast!

While it might not be the first thing you think of when you think of whole body care, walking is good for your body, being in community to do something good is great for the psyche and cleaning up the neighborhood is great for everyone who is able to enjoy the natural beauty that is all around them.

Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather, walking and for trash pick-up. Closed-toed shoes are recommended.

We'll provide the trash pick up supplies and the fun. Bring your family, friends and any stranger you may pass along the way who wants to help out. SF Refresh strives to be a zero waste event, so please try not to bring things with you to the event that will become trash. Just because we pick it up and it gets taken away by a truck, doesn't me that it goes away. The picture above is the amount of trash collected in San Francisco in just one day.

A big thank you to the San Francisco Department of Public Works (DPW) who will be lending us all the supplies and taking the trash away at the end of the event!

* Learn how you can help take care of litter in your neighborhood every day.
* Learn more about how you can get involved in DPW's litter pick-up volunteer team.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Introducing: Don Pender

Well known San Francisco Jazz man Don Pender is serving as the Jazz lead for SF Refresh and helping to organize Jazz musicians to participate at our May 21st SF Refresh event in Bernal Heights, Visitacion Valley and the Bayview.

Nominated for a Grammy 1987 for "JAZZ INSTRUMENTALISTS OF THE YEAR" for Europe and Japan, Don went on to design and build Storyvile "a classic jazz club" and restaurant in San Francisco in 1995. He has had Elvin Jones, James Moody, Jon Faddis, Roy Hargrove, Wallace Roney, George Cables and many others teach and performed with him at Storyville.

Don received his BA, BM Degree’s from Berklee School of Music 1969 and also his Master’s Degree from Boston University in Music Education 1970. He’s played with Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton and Les Brown and his band of renown on the Dean Martin show.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 16. 2011 Event Serves 456

The numbers: Unique Individuals Participating - 456
reiki: 15; yoga: 24; composting skills: 21; herb class: 10; nonviolence workshop:13; advanced care directives: 5; meditation: 20; stress reduction: 4; massage: 30; life coaching: 20; knited fence pockets: 32; writing workshops: 8; meet the artist exhibit: 103; meals served: 239

Garden yoga classes:

Yoga for seniors and individuals with limited mobility, lead by Julia.

Flow style yoga for all levels, lead by Linda. Linda also taught Yoga for kids using animal shapes.

Body Work:

Chair massage was one of the most popular activities of the day. We hope to have many more massage therapists with us at our May 21 event.

The fine folk at Recology hosted the Great Compost Giveaway from 8-12. Food waste from San Francisco's best restaurants were composted into soil and given for free to anyone with a bucket.

Two composting classes were also taught to show people how they can compost their own food waste.

Music and Art:
Meet the Artist: Mother Earth Exhibit- the photography of Anne Hamersky was on display at the Free Farm and 103 individuals spent a significant amount of time with the photos and contemplated what they appreciated about mother earth.

Interactive Toolshed Mural, designed by Ilyse Magy, at the Free Farm: [DIY instructions]

Crochet/knit succulent pockets: [DIY Instructions]

This project was lead by Lily Laurence and the Revel Art Collective.

Affirmation trees, trelises and fences:


Life coaching.

Advanced care directives, lead by Megan Dowdell


David Douglas

The Vespertine Orchestra


In addition to giving away 227 pounds of produce and 20 pounds of bread, Ty made a great vegan lunch for the folk at the Hayes Valley Farm.

The food area at the Hayes Valley Farm took advantage of the view.

The Free Farm continued it's weekly ritual of eating a vegan meal at 12 and celebrating the space, community and the bounty of the earth.

Spiritual Wellness:

At 4pm several meditation leaders and nonviolence trainers created a joint activity that enabled a group to experience three types of mindfulness and meditation.

The Zen Center lead meditation at the Hayes Valley Farm. The sitting was so popular that they left their cushions at the farm so they could be used for the rest of the day.

Reiki was given to 15 people by Diana Wheeler at the Hay Valley Farm

Melissa Lareau blessed each of the tree garden/farms before our event, lead chakra opening and earth meditation at the Free Fam.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Introducing: Melissa Lareau

I earnestly began to look for a more meaningful way to engage the world upon the completion of an intense academic career. Weary and clad with a Masters in Landscape History, I found refuge in an organic grocery chain. Among the aisles of tofu delights and gourmet coffees I learned a great deal about organics, holistic healing, plants and cut flowers. Safe within those confines, I explored Reiki, intuition and self-empowerment.

Knee deep in cut flowers, I realized my life’s purpose was not as a florist. When I was in school, I was led to believe that a job or career had to be something from an easily categorized drop down menu. I certainly did not anticipate becoming something from the “other” category. And yet, when I do this work with others and myself, the world feels right. In those moments, I can feel the fulfillment of my purpose with every fiber of my being. This is what I came to do- to be a clear channel for healing and love energy, facilitating others in their unique and marvelous journey to wholeness.

It is my intention to empower individuals to create lives they feel good living. I thank you for being part of my experience and thank you for allowing me to be part of yours. Namaste.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

DIY: Party Tree - Yarn Succulent Pockets

Today, Ilyse, Lily and Lauren from the Revel Art Collective, stopped by the Hayes Valley Farm to show us how to make Yarn Succulent Pockets. Lily's drawing of a party tree it above. At the April 16th SF Refresh, Lily and Lauren will be teaching a skill share on how to make Yarn Succulent Pockets starting at 11am.

For now, enjoy these DIY (do it yourself) instructions:
Step One: knit, crochet, or use your fingers to make a pocket out of yarn.
Step Two: create an outline of a tree on the fence with yarn.
Step three: attach your yarn pocket to the fence. You can also attach succulant pockets made out of burlap and chicken wire as well. This makes for a good brown tree color.
Step Four: Fill the pocket with dirt and plant a succulent.
Step Five: Repeat until you've filled the outline of your tree. We need help with this step. Come by on Saturday and help us fill it in. Or make a pocket to take home.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Introducing: Autumn Turley

Autumn Turley has been writing poetry for seven years, and hosts creative writing workshops around the bay area. Her first book, Ashes, was published in 2009. Outside of writing, she is a violin instructor and does massage. She is currently working on a recording project called Of Dust And Dreams that combines poetry with experimental music. Her primary focus is putting energy into projects that combine sustainable living, multimedia arts, holistic health, and spirituality. Autumn's writing can be found at

Autumn will be leading a creative writing workshop at 4pm at Hayes Valley Farm.

Introducing: Anne Mascovich

Anne has been teaching a weekly Gentle Yoga and Meditation class at the Wellness Center of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in SF, which serves a community of homeless and substance abuse recovery clients. Her background includes training at the ‘School for Compassionate Action’ in NYC, which is designed to bring the empowerment and healing benefits of yoga and meditation to specific communities in need.

Anne will be leading a Stress Reduction Workshop at 4pm at Hayes Valley Farm:

This session introduces deep relaxation and meditation practices drawn from ancient healing practices. We will briefly explore several techniques that are simple and comfortable, and that can be done anytime, anywhere. Mindfulness practice is ideal for cultivating greater awareness of the unity of mind and body, as well as of the ways the unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can undermine emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health. Through techniques such as simple breath awareness and guided meditations, we will further refine our direct experience of relaxed, embodied presence and our mind’s innate capacity to experience joy.

78 Confirmed Free Activities for April 16th

The San Francisco Urban Agriculture Alliance (SFUAA) in collaboration with Project Homeless Connect’s Growing Home Community Garden, is hosting the inaugural SF Refresh Event on April 16, 2011. Designed to provide free whole body care activities in community gardens throughout San Francisco, SF Refresh is funded by the Mental Health Services Act in collaboration with SF Department of Public Health. SF Refresh will expand San Francisco’s system of care by utilizing city resources, businesses, non profits and interfaith groups and volunteers to provide healthy, artistic and creative options for self care. 78 confirmed free activities include: labyrinth walks, massage, yoga, nonviolence workshops, art projects, mediation and mindfulness, live music, cooking skill shares, mural painting, disaster preparedness, addiction recovery classes, gardening skill shares, harp therapy and stress reduction classes. At the Free Farm (Eddy/Gough)

  • 8:00am All Levels Yoga (Flow Style) - Linda Leu

  • 9:00am Labyrinth Walk - Kris Iversen 10:00am Affirmation/Forgiveness Trees

  • 10:00am Meet the Artist: Mother Earth Exhibit

  • 10:00am We Forgive you Papers 10:00am Volunteers @ The Free Farm

  • 10:00am Meditation Workshop - Pancho

  • 11:00am Herbs and Health Garden Talk/Walking Tour - Finn Cunningham

  • 11:00am Nonviolence Workshop - Pancho

  • 12:00pm Vegan Lunch 1:00pm Labyrinth Walk - Kris Iversen

  • 1:00pm Yoga for Kids - Linda Leu

  • 3:00pm Ball of Light Meditation - Melissa Lareau

  • 3:00pm Yoga for Seniors and Individuals with Limited Mobility - Julie

  • 3:30pm Grounding/Opening Chakra Meditation - Melissa Lareau

  • 4:00pm All Levels Yoga (Flow Style) - Linda Leu

  • 4:00pm Labyrinth Walk - Kris Iversen

  • 4:00pm Mindfulness, Meditation and Somatic Experiencing Class - Rik Center of the Mindfulness Care Center 4:00pm Mural Painting - Composting Toilet

  • 4:00pm Nichiren Shu Meditation (chanting and drums) - Michael McCormick

  • 4:00pm Nonviolence Workshop - Pancho

  • 4:00pm Planting and Potting Mindfulness - Tree

  • 4:00pm Ball of Light Meditation - Melissa Lareau

  • 4:30pm Grounding/Opening Chakra Meditation - Melissa Lareau

  • 5:00pm Earth Healing Meditation - Melissa Lareau

  • 6:00pm Meet the Artist - Anne Hamersky 8:00pm Stargazing – Pancho

At the Growing Home Community Garden (Octavia/Lily)

  • 10:00am Affirmation/Forgiveness Trees

  • 10:00am Meet the Artist: Mother Earth Exhibit

  • 10:00am We Forgive you Papers

  • 10:00am Meditation - Christopher Blount

  • 11:00am Sprouting Skill Share - Christopher Blount

  • 12:00pm Bicycle Powered Smoothies @ GHCG

  • 1:00pm Deep Relaxation - Christopher Blount

  • 1:00pm Writing Workshop - Rachel Cassandra and Jimmy Defebaugh of the Revel Art Collective

  • 2:00pm Gardening for your Self Care Skill Share - Christopher Blount

  • 3:00pm Irrigation and Drip System Skill Share

  • 3:00pm Learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous

  • 3:00pm Writing Workshop - Rachel Cassandra and Jimmy Defebaugh of the Revel Art Collective

  • 4:00pm Harp Therapy - Jack Pantaleo

  • 4:00pm Mindless Doodling - Ilyse Magy

At the Hayes Valley Farm (Fell/Laguna)

  • 8:00am – 12pm The Great Compost Giveaway – Recology (bring your own bucket)

  • 9:5am Parachute Play - Sam McMullen

  • 10:00am Affirmation/Forgiveness Trees

  • 10:00am Imagination Station

  • 10:00am Meet the Artist: Mother Earth Exhibit

  • 10:00am Mural painting - Jessica Kraft

  • 10:00am We Forgive you Papers

  • 10:00am Stretching/Movement - Jaime Tjahaja

  • 10:45am Parachute Play - Sam McMullen

  • 11:00am Be Red Cross Ready (Disaster Preparedness) - The Red Cross

  • 11:00am Composting Skill Share - Sam McMullen

  • 11:00am Making Your your End of Life Care Wishes Known - Megan Dowdell

  • 11:00am Fence Yarn Pocket Art - Lily Laurence and Lauren Gucik of the Revel Art Collective

  • 11:00am Reiki - Diana Wheeler

  • 11:30am Chair Massage - Amy Hintze

  • 11:45am Parachute Play - Sam McMullen

  • 12:00pm Lunch @ Hayes Valley Farm*

  • 12:00pm Choose Your Own Cob Oven Pizza Adventure

  • 12:45pm Parachute Play - Sam McMullen 1:00pm Herbs and Wellness Skill Share - Sam McMullen

  • 1:00pm Live Acoustic Music - David Douglas

  • 1:45pm Parachute Play - Sam McMullen

  • 2:00pm Vespertine Orchestra 1:00pm Composting Skill Share - Jaime Tjahaja 2:00pm Building Succulant Fence Pockets - Booka

  • 2:00pm Mindfulness, Meditation and Somatic Experiencing Class - Rik Center of the Mindfulness Care Center 2:00pm Zen Meditation - Shannon Stewart

  • 2:45pm Parachute Play - Sam McMullen

  • 3:00pm Chair Massage - Amy Hintze

  • 3:00pm See and Learn about Goats - City Grazing

  • 3:00pm Bicycle Powered Smoothies @ Hayes Valley Farm

  • 3:00pm Herbs & Wellness Skill Share - Sam McMullen

  • 3:45pm Parachute Play - Sam McMullen

  • 4:00pm Creative Writing Workshop 4:00pm Meditation/Mindfulness - Anne Mascovich

  • 4:00pm Mindful Weeding - Sam McMullen

  • 4:45pm Parachute Play - Sam McMullen

  • *Additional Cooking Skill Shares at the Hayes Valley Farm throughout the day with Ty Curley.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

DIY: Affirmation Mural

This tool shed mural at the Free Farm, designed by Ilyse Magy, is designed to provide interfaith affirmations that encourage people to achieve their goals, have a positive attitude and to use the spiritual resources that might support their growth.

We hope you will recreate this project in your neighborhood. The simple steps below will show you how.

Step 1: Prime the mural space. We completed this task by using recycled paint that you can pick up from the San Francisco dump for free. A few coats of white paint serves as a great primer (we primed this large tool shed in about 3 hours).Step 2: Paint the background colors of the mural. We used rollers and brushes to complete this task in just one day. The background should be interesting and beautiful, but also not too distracting from the words that will get painted on top of it.
Step 3: Add the instructions to the shed. These instructions will enable the mural to become interactive. Our instructions were designed for painting on a tool shed. You may need to tailor yours to the space you are painting. "What tools do you need to manifest what you want to see in the world? What tools do you need to manifest what you want to see in yourself? What tools do you have? What tools does the world have? What is it that you want to create, build, manifest? What is it that you want to tend to cultivate? What is it that you want to celebrate?"
Step 4: Create opportunities for the community to add their words to the mural. Join us on April 16th to add your words of affirmation to our mural!

Step 5: Seal the shed. After the project is over, seal the mural with a weather proof sealant that can help protect the paint colors from fading in the sun and make it easier to clean off graffiti. If you're unsure about what kind of sealant to use, talk to someone at your local hardware store. Note to people worried about the use of chemicals in a garden space, please know that it is possible to use less harmful paints, but that there isn't a good way to seal the mural that does not involve chemicals.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Manual Labor for the April 16th Event

Today we built an imagination station out of pallets at the Hayes Valley Farm. We still have some more work to do and to paint it, but check out our progress so far.

The wild flowers next to it will grow to about six feet tall, which will surround the imagination station with growth and life. We hope it will inspire all who sit in it to grow and affirm the things in their life that will enable all their dreams to become reality.

Sitting in it this afternoon, I felt a little bit like Winnie the Pooh in a cozy little nook.

We also prepped a mural that will become interactive on April 16th at the Free Farm. Stay tuned, as we will begin painting the mural on Friday and I'll be posting more pictures that evening.