Free Produce at Hayes Valley Farm

How about some positive news today? How about a story that combines some of every San Franciscan's favorite topics — eco-friendliness, fresh local produce, and free stuff?

OK, we can do that for ya.

Local community organization The Wigg Party and the Hayes Valley Farm have teamed up for a new weekly experiment in farm-fresh freebies dubbed the "Fresh Produce Free-For-All."

Here's how it works. On Saturdays and Sundays, folks from the Wigg Party drive around to local farmers' markets and collect their unsold produce. The vendors are happy to give it away for free, as they'd otherwise have to lug it to a landfill or compost pile.

Then, the Wigg Partiers bring the produce back to Hayes Valley Farm on Sunday and just straight-up GIVE IT AWAY. Why? Because... well... they're good people?

This whole thing, called "gleaning," isn't exactly a new concept. As the Wigg Party's website notes, there are regular produce giveaways in the Mission and Panhandle, and of course food banks around the city. (Gleaning is even mentioned in the Torah, if Wikipedia is to be believed.) But it's new to Hayes Valley Farm, and heck, there can never be too many efforts to cut down on wasted food and bring some free eats to the community.

Last Sunday was the first attempt at the Free-For-All, and they managed to collect roughly 1000 lbs of produce — "boxes upon boxes of tomatoes, peaches, bell peppers, eggplant, and other fresh delicious food" — from three different farmers' markets.

This week, they're upping the ante. They'll be doubling the number of sources to six — Noe Valley, Fillmore, Ferry Plaza, Inner Sunset, Divisadero and Civic Center — and they're hoping to double their haul to at least a ton. But as Wigg Party organizer Morgan Fitzgibbons tells us, "even if we only come through with half of what we had last week, we'll still be doing great."

For more information on attending or volunteering, visit the event's Facebook page. Otherwise, grab your canvas tote and swing by Hayes Valley Farm on Sunday from 12:30pm - 6pm, and prepare your fridge (and stomach) for some healthy, local, no-cost goodness.