This year I quietly resolved to pursue the things I'm curious about in a more active manner. I've been researching classes on all sort of topics. Today's subject was the care of citrus trees.
Our house has a lovely old Meyer Lemon tree, as well as a few baby citrus trees. They're wonderful trees, and I wanted to understand their care better. So I signed up for a class at Pollinate Farm and Garden, an awesome urban farm store, close to my home. The instructor was Molly Goulet Bolt, a certified arborist who specializes in the care of fruit trees in the Bay Area.
Pollinate Farm is unique in that they are a decidedly urban shop, with an on-site orchard. After about an hour of classroom discussion, our group strolled out into the orchard for a hands on discussion of the finer points of citrus pruning. What a joy.
I've been meaning to write a blog post about Pollinate Farm. I made a total pest of myself, taking lots of photos in the store last summer, and then something happened to the memory card on my camera, and all the pictures were lost. I've been too shy to ask of I could re-shoot the photos, which is totally stupid. Pollinate Farm is wonderful. The owners, Birgitt Evans and Yolanda Burrell are about the nicest people imaginable. They sell everything an urban farmer could possibly want. Heirloom seeds, baby chicks, beekeeping gear, animal feed of all description, gardening tools, canning supplies, fruit trees, books, anything you could hope for. If you haven't visited yet, you're really missing out!
You've just got to love a store with a sassy in-house flock of chickens. They wandered inside during the class, checked everything out, and then moseyed back outside. Delightful.
There's a bias against Oakland in much of the Bay Area. Our area of East Oakland is considered particularly unsavory. I figure that the haters are gonna hate, and that those of us who live here can enjoy the warm unfoggy weather, the funky diversity and all the astonishing gardening opportunities. Those folks who think that we live in the 'hood can go on thinking that. If you believe that we live in some kind of no-man's land, that's okay. We'll be out in the back yard, sipping coffee and enjoying our fruit trees.