One of my favorite local shops is Pollinate Farm & Garden in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. They sell everything one might want for one's urban farm. They've got beekeeping supplies, baby chicks, garden seeds and plants, and tools of every description. In addition to selling all manner of tempting goodies, Pollinate offers fascinating classes.
On Sunday I took a cheesemaking class with Louella Hill, the San Francisco Milk Maid. Louella is a wonderful teacher.
Even the shop cat was enchanted by the Milk Maid.
Our class was guided through the process of making fresh farmer's cheese and kefir. Here we are cutting curds, and releasing the liquid whey. Cheese making is a beautiful tactile process.
In this photo, the newly made cheese is being drained. Every student took home tasty fresh cheese, kefir and whey. Robb and I added this fresh farmhouse-style cheese to our lunch, which we ate in the backyard. While much of the country is buried in snow, we're enjoying an uncanny warm spell.
If you're in the East Bay, do stop by Pollinate Farm & Garden.
You're certain to find something both useful and delightful.