BACE Timebank Rotating Header Image

October SF POSSE Party – 10/18/12

POSSE PARTY @ The Happiness Institute
1720 Market St (@ Valencia), SF, CA
RSVP on Meetup


This month’s theme is accountability (to oneself and to others)

Skillshare Schedule: (times are approximate)

4:00-4:30     Greetings and sign-in

4:30-6:30     Children’s “art party” activity

5:00-6:00     How to use the Timebank to organize an event or group

6:00-7:00     Addressing harassment on the street and in grassroots circles

7:00-8:00     Gift Circle


POSSE Parties (Potluck Orientation Skillshare Swapmeet Events) are a way to create an environment for participants to feel comfortable and safe to meet others and begin to form relationships.

Come and join us for our next POSSE Party, any time from 4 to 8 PM.


Childcare will be provided for parents and guardians to be able to participate in skillshares.
We will also have a kid-friendly skillshare included in our schedule.

If you know you will need childcare, please email or call Amber at or 415-699-7011, so we can get a good idea of how many kids to expect and what age level of activities will be needed.


Food and community are a great combination.

Please bring something yummy to eat or drink to share!



See you then!

BACE’s September POSSE Party! Yay!

Our next POSSE Party will focus on FAMILIES: the ones we’re born into, and the ones we create. Free childcare will be provided. It’s gonna be on September 20th, 2012, at the Happiness Institute, 1720 Market St in San Francisco.

Come by any time from 4 PM to 8 PM and participate in our potluck, skill-shares, and gift circles. Your little ones will be expertly attended by experienced volunteers whenever you need a break. We will also have a skill-share geared for younger participants.

Please bring something yummy to eat or drink to share!

If you will need childcare, feel free to call Amber at 415-699-7011, so we can arrange to have enough volunteers and age-appropriate activities.  You can also email her at
Power to the babies, kids, and grown folks!

The Sharing Economy: A bank where time is money

– article by Jen Chien, excerpted from

Frieda Kipar Bay is an herbalist. She teaches workshops on growing herbs for medicine. A class like this might normally cost $50-$60, but at a recent workshop at the Homestead Skillshare Festival, at Hayes Valley Farm in San Francisco, students didn’t pay a dime.

The daylong gathering – which included 40 different workshops, food, and live entertainment – was funded with a different kind of currency: hours. These transactions are managed by the Bay Area Community Exchange Time Bank.

“Everybody’s hour is equal,” says Mira Luna, a founder and organizer of the Time Bank. “So, for example, I do an hour of massage for somebody and then I get an hour credit to then get an hour of plumbing from somebody else. If I spend two hours, then I get two hours credit, and so on.”

read more at KALW

Creating Space for Kids at the Homestead Festival

Homestead Skillshare Festival, Girl Jumping

photo courtesy of Jennifer Zee

When I arrived at the Homestead Skillshare Festival with my husband and daughter, I immediately realized that the childcare space needed some help. Blankets and yoga mats were spread out on the ground, but there was nothing there to engage the kids.

At first I was sad, then angry. Why was the childcare area so neglected? But with the help of a bunch of creative kids and a few parents, we ended up making an adventure out of the oversight.

Since I was already a volunteer, it was only a matter of making sure my station was covered before I decided to take action. I had no idea at all what I would do with the kids, if any were even interested. But I’d embraced that unknowing.

Somehow the childcare area would come to life.

Next door at the greenhouse, I searched for guidance. Meredith, a worker at Hayes Valley Farm, pointed to a nearby field of flowers. “Sometimes we make clover necklaces and chains with kids who visit,” she said.  I jumped and thanked her.
Perfect! Now I had a project idea.

But I still needed some kids… and a way to get them excited about clover.“First things first,” I thought, and I went to gather as much clover as I could.

The flowers were huge, some a foot long. Such beautiful possibilities! While gathering them — a slower process than I’d anticipated — I ran into a woman with her six-year-old daughter. I asked the mom and her child if they had any ideas for fun kid activities that would go well with making clover chains. “We can tour the garden,” the girl said excitedly. I loved it: kids solving kid problems.
“Wow, that’s a brilliant idea,” I replied, “but I don’t really know my way around.”
“I do!” responded the girl. “I can be the Tour Leader. But first, we need to invite some more kids.” My thoughts exactly!
Tour Leader’s mother was just about to give a presentation at one of the festival workshops, so it was excellent timing. Off we ran through the festival crowd.

Kids Corner at the Homestead Skillshare Festival

photo courtesy of Jennifer Zee

Recruiting kids was easier than I expected. The children were thrilled for something that centered on them. (Many were bored by then.) The parents and guardians were relieved to be able to participate more meaningfully in the workshops. Some parents chose to join us on the adventure. By the time we met back up at the clover patch, there were about a dozen kids, ages 3 to 10, and three parents. (Well, four including me. But my little one and her pop had already gone home.)

We began by picking clover together, and in doing that came across a variety of other plants. Tour Leader and I whispered to each other, admitting we had no clue what they were. I asked the other kids if they knew. A 3-year-old pointed out some nasturtium, which another youngster told me was edible. “You should try some, it tastes peppery.” I picked some and tried it. Yum! I was already learning a ton.
The edible plant discoveries reminded Tour Leader that she knew where we could find some wild fennel. We chewed some pieces, which the kids agreed tasted a lot like black licorice.
The children had no trouble coming up with activities for themselves along the way. At one point, we took a “Duck, Duck, Goose” break. And later when the kids found a big hammock, they climbed on it and clung tight while one boy pushed them as hard and fast as he could. They were all shrieking and laughing joyously… until they knocked some shingles off a small structure nearby. “Alright, that’s when we stop,” I said.

photo courtesy of Jennifer Zee

Throughout our excursion, the kids had been gathering clover and handing it to me. By the time we returned to the childcare area, the bunch of clover was so big I could hardly hold it in my hands. As the children sat on the yoga mats, I set a good-sized clump on each mat and said, “Let’s see what we can make!” We tried figuring out how to make chains. I stumbled upon the way I did it as a child: knotting an end and slipping the next flower through the knot. (Really fun with such huge clover flowers.) The kids were coming up with their own ways and designs, asking for guidance when they got stuck.
Around 2 o’clock, the group was dissipating, so it seemed my work was done. I turned the “Child Care” sign around so it was blank, informally closing it. I was ready to go home and spend time with my own family.
About to leave, I realized I hadn’t said goodbye to the Tour Leader. I saw her with her mom. “Thank you so much,” I told my young friend. “You’re a born leader, and I hope to see you again.” Her expression showed that she was glad I recognized the importance of the afternoon’s fun. She smiled and said bye, and her mom looked really proud.

– article by Amber Yada

Over 30 Awesome Sustainability Workshops at the Homestead Skillshare Festival

Miguel Elliott of Living Earth Structures, photo courtesy of Amanda Kovattana

Miguel Elliott’s cob birdhouse workshop was both educational and entertaining. He very clearly explained and demonstrated the steps. Miguel has found ways to make cobbing easier, such as making a sand mold in the dome shape you want, getting premixed loam and just adding straw and water, and lighting a fire in the damp shape after drying the outside in the sun and removing the sand, in order to dry the inside.

Of the books Miguel brought to share, one showed his bamboo and aviary wire form for a small home, meditation room or study, which looks like a great idea for using less cob and still having strength. He also designed innovative buttresses for larger structures, allowing them to have 10″ thick walls instead of 12″ to 24″ thick walls. Miguel also has a very good eye for design — both shape and color.

Miguel Elliot’s company is Living Earth Structures; do go to him if you need a natural building, oven, or other structure.

Herbal Medicine Making with the Ohlone Herbal Center,
photo courtesy of Amanda Kovattana

Ducks thanks to Gabriel Cole!
photo courtesy of Marie Jobling,
Community Living Campaign

The workshop on fermenting cabbage (sauerkraut) and other vegetables by Veena West & Adelaja Simon of Canticle Farm was also highly informative. They made batches on the spot, shared samples, answered questions, told stories about how they learned, and recommended work by other people.

Veena and Adelaja focused on what matters, from sanitation to being in a peaceful mental state to why the veggies must be totally covered with liquid (lactic acid is anaerobic). The overall atmosphere was grounded, friendly, interesting, and fun.

Hayes Valley Farm is a delightful experience itself, and it looks like lots of people work hard making it so.

-article by Mark Roest