Recent Posts

Volunteer Activities – Help if you can

Volunteer Activities – Help if you can

This time of year is amongst the busiest at the orchard. There are always Seva (volunteer) opportunities at the orchard, and GreenFriends is always grateful for help from volunteers. We especially need it now and through May. If you can help, please click here to […]

The Pollinator Garden

The Pollinator Garden

GFF has been busy planting in the new Pollinator Garden to support the Monarch project—Milkweed and the Monarch Butterfly. The Pollinator Garden is a multi-year project. The first stage is to clear the area of the plant Hemlock. The plant is invasive and very difficult […]

Four thousand Sevites arrived.

Four thousand Sevites arrived.

It has been a busy March. Losing three of the Bee Hives was disturbing—a combination of yellow jackets and weather. And now it is time to welcome four thousand new Sevites, a new Bee Hive. Thanks to Bill and Dan for nurturing a new queen […]

Community Seva Day – Join Us Next Time

Community Seva Day – Join Us Next Time

It is AMMAzing to see how much can be accomplished when people come together in a spirit of unity and selflessness. Thank you to everyone who participated at the Community Seva Day event and helped make it a success. Here are some pictures of the […]

Community Seva Day

Community Seva Day

Please join us on February 24th, 2024, for a Community Seva Day. Tools, snacks, and lunch will be provided. As part of the GreenFriends Farm team, we will be focusing on mulching, pruning, and beautifying the area around the temple. For additional details and to […]

Seed Ball Fun

Seed Ball Fun

The GreenFriends Farm team and Seva group enjoyed a warm Sunday and had fun making seed balls and painting boxes. We also welcome Vivek back to the Farm Stand after his travels. Amy brought the materials for the team. The Poppyseed balls are made from […]

Milkweed and the Monarch Butterfly

Milkweed and the Monarch Butterfly

This past week, the team began the Milkweed project, whereby Milkweed will be planted in various locations at the Ashram to help and support the Monarch Butterfly. This project will take place over several Saturdays into February. It will continue this Saturday, February 3rd, 2024, […]

Learn to Grow Figs and Pomegranates

Learn to Grow Figs and Pomegranates

GreenFriends Farm Workshop Saturday February 17, 2:30 – 4:30 pm Join us at GreenFriends Farm to learn how to propagate fig and pomegranate trees from cuttings, and take home a baby tree to start your own nursery for Mother Nature. Planting fruit trees in your […]

Stained your clothes with Pomegranate juice? No more!

Stained your clothes with Pomegranate juice? No more!

We harvest a lot of Pomegranates at GreenFriends Farm. And we are constantly looking for better ways to collect the arils. What are the arils? Each seed is encased in a sweet and juicy covering known as an aril. We have a new addition to […]

After years we have Olives to harvest.

After years we have Olives to harvest.

The Olive trees in the Maha orchard are delivering a bountiful harvest. It has been thrilling to see all of the beautiful black olives appearing, as it has been rare for the trees to produce this amount of fruit….and yes, olives are a fruit! The […]

Saturday Seva

Saturday Seva

The Saturday Seva volunteer team has been bustling for the past two weeks. The team has been harvesting Persimmons and trimming. You will see Leah and Jordan in the persimmon trees below. It is also a good time to address the citrus and apple trees […]

Apple Tree Planting

Apple Tree Planting

Over the past few weeks, the GreenFriends Farm team and volunteers have been preparing to plant several apple trees. Approximately a dozen Golden Delicious apple trees are to be planted. The Process: The holes are dug to allow at least 3″-4″ of room around the […]

Amazing Bees and Facial Recognition

Amazing Bees and Facial Recognition

A few weeks ago, I was talking with members of the Bee Team. It was a fascinating discussion, and they mentioned bees recognize their beekeepers, and you can “pet” bees. This started me thinking about the fantastic bees on the planet. Do bees have facial […]

Bee Maintenance

Bee Maintenance

There is always work to be done with the hives, and we are ever grateful to the team maintaining them. Recently, the team has been reducing the size of the large Lalita and Indrakshi hives, and increasing the size of the two smaller hives: Brahmani […]

Aloe Recovery – Nature works

Aloe Recovery – Nature works

During the pandemic, there was one (1) large mother aloe plant that was neglected and nearly died. Thinking this plant was beyond saving, GreenFriends Farm Gardeners were going to compost it. One Gardener in the community had an idea. She took the withering aloe plant […]

Nature Walk Review – Amma’s Birthday

Nature Walk Review – Amma’s Birthday

On October 1st, 2023, a Nature Walk around the Orchard and farm was one of the activities. The Nature Walk is an activity GreenFriends offers, check the newsletter for upcoming events. Below is a review from one of the participants from the October 1st walk. […]

Bags of Hope Project 2023

Bags of Hope Project 2023

This is the 3rd year that GreenFriends Farm has offered the “Bags of Hope” project to local unhoused shelters in honor of Amma’s birthday and life message stating, “The world needs to know that a life of selfless service is possible.”  Every year through this […]

Saturday Seva and Farmers Market

Saturday Seva and Farmers Market

During the week and weekend, GreenFriends Farm and volunteers prepare for the Farmers Market. There are the tasks of weeding, pruning, and mulching., followed by receiving the fruits of the labor by harvesting the apples, pears, and plums. During the setup of the Farmers Market […]

Everybody has got to eat…but

Everybody has got to eat…but

At GreenFriends Farm we recognize and accept that everything has to eat. We are happy to share, however, some of our friendly residents don’t realize the tomatoes (and cucumbers, etc.) are to be shared with humans. The insects and critters think otherwise. Some of our […]

Bags of Hope Project

Bags of Hope Project

To commemorate Amma’s 70th birthday we are taking Bags of Hope to homeless shelters in the San Jose Bay Area. The Bags of Hope will contain various food items including fresh fruit, sauce, jam, crackers, dried fruit, and freshly made burritos, along with other donated […]

First Day at Farmer’s Market

First Day at Farmer’s Market

On September 9th, 2023 it was our first day at the Farmer’s Market in San Ramon for the fall season. As you will see from the pictures it was a great day for the team and customers. The fruits for sale included plums (Santa Rosa […]

Visit us at San Ramon Farmer’s Market

Visit us at San Ramon Farmer’s Market

Starting September 9th, 2023, Green Friends Farm will have a booth at the San Ramon Farmer’s Market. The market is open from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. For additional information about the market, directions and address click here. It has been a remarkable harvesting period. […]

Mulching, Compost Tea and Compost Extract

Mulching, Compost Tea and Compost Extract

This past Saturday (26th August 2023) was a busy day of activities in the Lotus Orchard. The team of volunteers was harvesting Gala apples, weeding, and using the trimmers to clear weeds. It was also time to apply mulch to the trees including the sacred […]

Honey Harvest Collage August 2023

Honey Harvest Collage August 2023

On Saturday 19th August 2023 there was a honey harvest. Approximately 50 frames of honey were collected and processed. It was a project that started early in the morning with many hands and preparation that started last week when Bill and Dan (the “Bee Guys”) […]

The Vegetable Farm Stand

The Vegetable Farm Stand

It has always been the intent of GreenFriends Farm to expand from fruit to include vegetables. Over the past year or so, the team and volunteers have been preparing the vegetable garden area, and planting began early this year. The harvesting of the vegetables has […]

Saturday, August 5th Seva

Saturday, August 5th Seva

The team was busy adding mulch to the many fruit trees on the first Saturday of the month. Mulch gets placed around the tree perimeter to curb evaporation and protect the soil from the Sun. We all love a cold drink on a hot summer […]

July Recap

July Recap

It has been a busy July at GreenFriends Farm. July started with a honey harvest. Fortunately, we had several volunteers help and the honey is available from the store. The extremely hot weather was challenging for everyone including the bees. Every effort was made to […]

Plum Perfect!

Plum Perfect!

If you are looking for an antioxidant, vitamin-rich, delicious snack, the plum just might be the perfect choice! Plums are packed with plant compounds that have antioxidant properties, which means they help prevent oxygen from reacting with other chemicals and causing damage to cells and tissues. They are […]

Apricots in the shop – did you know?

Apricots in the shop – did you know?

Over the past several weeks we have been harvesting Apricots. And they are available from the shop. Apricots are an unusual stone fruit. It isn’t as sweet as many other stone fruits, but it combines sweetness with tartness. Apricots can ripen off the tree, you […]

Honey Harvest on July 1st

Honey Harvest on July 1st

On the weekend of July 1st, the Bee Team and volunteers harvested honey and it is available for purchase. It was a gratifying activity for all involved. A wonderful reminder of the amazing bees in nature. It was a bountiful harvest. Prior to the harvest, […]

Volunteer Groups in June

Volunteer Groups in June

We are very grateful to everyone who helped GreenFriends Farm in June. It was a bustling month including classes and seva provided by several large groups. SewaUSA is one of the groups that gave us their helping hands and loving hearts. Groups from Hindu Swayamsevak […]

What’s it like on a Nature Walk?

What’s it like on a Nature Walk?

The next Nature Walk is on Saturday, June 24th, starting at 2:45 p.m. More information Do you wonder what happens on these walks? Anupama is the lead volunteer for the meditative nature walks. Yes, we have a lovely walk experiencing nature, and more happens. At […]

Planting Joy! Event Recap.

Planting Joy! Event Recap.

This past weekend we had the pleasure of hosting an organic vegetable gardening workshop at MA Center San Ramon called Planting Joy!  We had a wonderful group of attendees from around the Bay Area, all sharing one thing in common: the desire to learn how […]

Liquid Compost for Healthy Gardens – Workshop

Liquid Compost for Healthy Gardens – Workshop

We hope you can join us for this GreenFriends Farm Workshop on Saturday June 10, 2 – 4:30 pm: Microorganisms feed plants. In this workshop we will learn how to work with nature to cultivate beneficial microorganisms to nourish the vegetables growing in our gardens.  […]

The Making of Lemon Ginger Marmalade

The Making of Lemon Ginger Marmalade

This past week was an opportunity to use the many lemons harvested to make a batch of marmalade. This time we decided on a ginger variant. The first step is to wash the lemons in cold or lukewarm water. The lemons are peeled, and the […]

Planting Workshop & Seedling Sale

Planting Workshop & Seedling Sale

“Even if we only have a tiny plot of land, we should try to grow a few vegetables.” ~Amma Planting Joy! Organic Gardening Workshop Saturday, May 20th, 9 am -1 pm We hope you can join us this coming Saturday to learn to plant organic […]

Earth Day Review

Earth Day Review

On Saturday, April 22nd GreenFriends Farm (GFF) at MA Center in Castro Valley held an Earth ? Day celebration open to all. Educational booths included a slide presentation showing the history of the farm, water conservation practices used at the farm, permaculture, bee care, and […]

Have you checked your Bee Board?

Have you checked your Bee Board?

What is a Bee Board? In the hive structures at GreenFriends we use a screened bottom “sticky board,” which is at the lower structure of the hive. In the pictures below you will notice where the board is relative to the structure. There is a […]

Weather changes and a myriad of activities

Weather changes and a myriad of activities

In recent weeks the Orchard has experienced a wide range of weather conditions. There has been snow, rain, wind, and sunshine. The changing weather has been a constant change of activities in and around the Orchard. The heavy rainfall and dampness have seen more green […]

This week in Pictures

This week in Pictures

What’s the buzz this week? One of our hives, Brahmani, was returned to the orchard this week. Thank you to the Bee Team for their hard work, dedication, and devotion to our pollinator friends! The trees are currently bursting with blossoms and nectar, and patiently […]

Painting and Nature Walk

Painting and Nature Walk

This week was more painting of the trees in the Orchard. There was another period of dry weather, allowing the volunteers to meet and progress with protecting the trees. It is an important task as mentioned last week. Thanks to Anupama for organizing the Nature […]

Why are tree trunks painted white?

Why are tree trunks painted white?

Next time you visit the orchard, you might notice the lower part of the fruit trees have been painted white. You may wonder – why is this done? There are a few reasons why fruit trees’ trunks are painted white. Typically the painting takes place […]

The Harvest must go on!

The Harvest must go on!

As many of us have experienced the past few weeks, or rather for most of 2023, there has been a lot of rain. Access to the farm has been hindered by the weather and the road closures as a result of the storms. However, work […]

Saturday Seva – November

Saturday Seva – November

November had several activities including the Family Nature Walk on November 5th, 2022. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes production, including harvesting of various fruits and the making of several jams and sauces. We also had Karma Yogi’s helping in the Orchard. The bees were […]

Persimmon Pudding, Ginger or Spiced?

Persimmon Pudding, Ginger or Spiced?

For some of us, persimmon is an unusual fruit and is often misunderstood. This is probably related to having eaten an unripe Hachiya which leaves a sour, mouth-puckering taste. A quick browse of the internet reveals quite a lot of history of the persimmon fruit. […]

Seed Balls

Seed Balls

Over the past few weeks, we have been working with a team to create wildflower seed balls. These seed balls will be used in various places around the Orchard and Ashram to beautify the area and encourage biodiversity, especially for bees and other pollinators. What […]

Nature Gives – From Tree to Jar

Nature Gives – From Tree to Jar

You may have seen a few articles about the persimmons grown at GreenFriends Farm. The two varieties we grow are Fuyu and Hachiya. This year’s harvest has been excellent, leaving us with a plethora of persimmons! What to do? Muneebah and Tapomayi from our production […]

San Ramon Farmers Market

San Ramon Farmers Market

This past Saturday (3rd December) was the first day for GreenFriends Farm to attend the San Ramon Farmers Market. Our main products for the upcoming markets will continue to be our fruit from the Orchard. Next year, we may expand to include crafts, jams, and […]

Saturday Seva – October

Saturday Seva – October

This is the second in the Saturday Seva series. We hope you will get a feeling for what happens on a Saturday in the Orchard. October had several activities including the Nature Walk at the start of the month and Amma’s Birthday celebration later in […]

The Quirky Quince

The Quirky Quince

Quince is a very hardy fruit. Requires little maintenance, is drought-tolerant, and adapts to various soil content. They are shaped like a large apple and the color of a Golden Delicious. If you find a soft one it is probably rotten. Quince is an unusual […]

Coring can be therapeutic

Coring can be therapeutic

Over the past few weeks we have been working with pears, apples and quince to make dried fruits, sauces and jams. First, we collect and wash the fruit. We used 18 pounds of apples for this session. My favorite part of the process is coring. […]

Family Nature Day, November 5th 2022

Family Nature Day, November 5th 2022

On Saturday November 5th, the GreenFriends farm hosted another Family Nature Day. The purpose of events like this at the Orchard is social and educational. It is an opportunity for people to gather together and spend time in nature but also to learn, share knowledge […]

Event: Family Nature Day

Event: Family Nature Day

Please join us for a free event appreciating Mother Nature! On Saturday, November 5th, GreenFriends Farm will host a family nature day in the orchard for parents and children from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.  The program is designed to develop awareness of nature. Activities will include […]

Amma’s Birthday Nature Walk

Amma’s Birthday Nature Walk

Amma’s Birthday Nature walk began at noon from the temple steps. As the group walked through the woods, the walk became a silent walk. The participants paused to listen to the sounds of nature…birds, winds in the trees, and the silence. During the next part […]

What to do with 10 Slow Cookers?

What to do with 10 Slow Cookers?

This year Mother Nature has been very generous with her bounty! The apples, especially, have produced a very good harvest. This poses a high-quality problem; what to do with all the fruit? Yes, we can sell at the farm stands and with FFH. However, we […]

Saturday Seva – September

Saturday Seva – September

This is the first in the Saturday Seva series. We will collate a series of pictures of the past month’s Saturday Seva activities. These pictures reflect the fun, community spirit, and service to nature and the Orchard. We hope you will get a feeling for […]

Is a Jujube a date?

Is a Jujube a date?

The Orchard has several unusual fruits, the Jujube is one of them. A Jujube has informal names of “red date” and “Chinese Date,” so you might think it’s a date, but it’s not! In it’s most ripened form it resembles a date and that’s probably […]

Persimmons – getting ready

Persimmons – getting ready

We are getting ready for the fall harvest that will include our persimmons. We have several varieties in the Orchard. One variety is the round, squat Fuyu non-astringent persimmon, which can be eaten hard or soft, with the skin on. We also have the Hachiya, […]

Saturday Seva 101

Saturday Seva 101

Curious what happens on Saturday Seva? Who can come to Saturday Seva? Anybody can come to Saturday Seva! All ages and all skill sets are welcome. We have a few suggestions, especially if it is your first time. Bring a sun hat, sunscreen, and water. […]

Do you like honey or apple sauce?

Do you like honey or apple sauce?

This past week we were on a very busy schedule to jar the honey and produce apple sauce. Some of these products will go into our Bags of Hope for the shelters in San Jose. A few weeks ago we harvested honey from the hives […]

Nature Walk and Bags of Hope

Nature Walk and Bags of Hope

Last Saturday (September 3rd) was our Nature Walk with Anupama. The theme of the walk was “The Child-Like Spirit within.” It started at 4 p.m. and though it was hot, the walk was mainly in a shaded area. The hike started in the Redwood Grove […]

What is happening at Creekside?

What is happening at Creekside?

The Creekside area was planted a few years ago and has a small number of fruit trees. GreenFriends Farm has been expanding the area to prepare for more tree planting and to improve the harvest of existing trees. This process involves several steps, including tree […]

Family Nature Day – Fun had by All

Family Nature Day – Fun had by All

On August 20th, GreenFriends Farm and Bala Kendra hosted a family nature day. All were welcome. It was good weather day, cool and comfortable to be outside. First step was to follow the signs: The event was well attended by all age groups, from 3 […]

Amma’s 69th Birthday – Bags of Hope

Amma’s 69th Birthday – Bags of Hope

          In honor of our Mother’s 69th Birthday this 27th of September, Greenfriends Farm would like to distribute 69 bags of Hope to homeless camps in the San Jose area.   Each bag has a cost of $20, and includes the following items: -1 […]

Bee Amazed!

Bee Amazed!

Is there anything more amazing in nature than honey bees? Nature itself is amazing! Now, let’s take a closer look at honey production. Grab a jar of honey (we have some available in the store). If you are looking at an 8oz jar of honey, […]

What to do with 54 lbs of plums?

What to do with 54 lbs of plums?

One option at GreenFriends is to make chunky plum jam. It takes between 2-3 days to make the jam. Why so long? The first step is to gather the crates of plums and start washing them. For current jam processing we gathered 54 lbs of […]

Where is Adi? Who is Kubo?

Where is Adi? Who is Kubo?

The Adi Orchard is on the left side of the temple. This is the oldest orchard at the farm, and first plantings occurred over 33 years ago. The trees in this orchard are amongst the most established at the farm. The Adi Orchard is also […]

Many Hands Make Light Work

Many Hands Make Light Work

The past couple of weeks have been challenging in the Lotus orchard. The pump in the pond has not been functioning at 100%, and this meant trees were not getting the regular allocation of water. We have been very fortunate to have the help of […]

Brewing Tea for the trees

Brewing Tea for the trees

The past week we have been brewing a lot of tea to feed our trees. Not tea as you might know it, and brewing does not involve a kettle. In this case we are talking about Compost Tea. In recent classes with Peter Ash we […]

Thinning The Apple Trees

Thinning The Apple Trees

Caring for the trees is an ongoing process at GreenFriends Farm. Thinning is an important activity in early summer for apple and pear trees. To a degree a tree will perform its own thinning by dropping fruit. We can also help that process. More below […]

Filters and Lines at Orchard

Filters and Lines at Orchard

In an earlier post we discussed the tasks of minimizing the water used by the farm. The farm is divided into sections. Each section has its own water cycle including which days of the month,  the time of day, and for how many hours. A section […]

Commemorate 30 Year Video

Commemorate 30 Year Video

This video is to commemorate the 30 year anniversary of Amma’s Orchard at MA Center San Ramon. The video was first released in 2019. At GreenFriends Farm we recently uncovered a video from 2019 which commemorates the 30 year anniversary of the farm. There have […]

Begin Harvesting 2022

Begin Harvesting 2022

Mid-June and time to begin the harvesting process. There are many varieties of fruits at the Orchard, and therefore timing varies. When harvesting we have to consider the fruit itself (type) and how we plan to use the fruit. Will the fruit be used for […]

Harvesting Honey

Harvesting Honey

This past week it was time to harvest the honey. Harvesting requires a lot of coordination and hard work. This past week, the Bee Seva team and other Sevites, (13 in total) obtained the honey from our 3 active hives. We only take what is […]

Workshop on June 26 – It Starts With the Soil: Improving Soil Fertility for a Thriving Garden

Workshop on June 26 – It Starts With the Soil: Improving Soil Fertility for a Thriving Garden

Register Here Join us at GreenFriends Farm with Peter Ash on Sunday, June 26th! Learn how to improve the biology of your soil so your plants thrive! Healthy soil can naturally protect plants from pests, diseases, drought and even flooding without harmful pesticides or herbicides. […]