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Register for Pollinate Classes and Events

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New to home and community-based urban agriculture and foodcrafting? Want to meet the experts? Pollinate Farm & Garden hosts a speaker series and hands-on DIY workshops on a variety of topics. Classes are held in our community meeting and learning space, in our garden, or at another site as indicated.  Learn more about our instructors, or become one yourself!


Quick and Easy Home Cheesemaking with the San Francisco Milk Maid

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Quick and Easy Home Cheesemaking with the San Francisco Milk Maid
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Join the San Francisco Milk Maid for a crash course on home cheesemaking. In two wonderful, action-packed hours, learn how to ferment fresh milk into fragrant farmers’ cheeses or fail-proof, super healthy kefir. Learn which milk to use, what equipment you’ll need, how to get the most probiotic benefits and best, how to enjoy your home dairy creations. Class price includes instruction, recipe sheet, in-class tasting and your own take-home fermentation project. For more info on The Milk Maid, visit: www.sfmilkmaid.com.

BONUS! Class attendees will enjoy a 10% discount on all cheesemaking tools and supplies at Pollinate on the day of class. We carry all you need to perfect your home cheesemaking skills!

Instructor Bio: Louella Hill’s passion for cheesemaking started on a sheep farm in Tuscany where she spent each day milking sheep, haying fields and making Pecorino. Since then, she has apprenticed with small-scale cheesemakers in Europe, Mexico and throughout New England. She is the co-founder of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Creamery and known locally as The San Francisco Milk Maid. Her favorite part of cheesemaking is the soft, sweet smell of a milk vat. Her book on home cheesemaking, Kitchen Creamery, will be released this winter.

    Prices for October 5, 2014 at 11:00AM

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Fall and Winter Gardening in the East Bay with Author Pam Peirce

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Fall and Winter Gardening in the East Bay with Author Pam Peirce
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Bay Area favorite Pam Peirce returns to Pollinate to share her edible gardening expertise! Despite the drought, our amazing climate means that we can eat from our gardens year round! Learn easy gardening strategies to maximize the use of any rainfall we may receive in the fall and winter months. Learn Pam’s secrets to timed plantings – what to plant now, and what to plant as we approach the end of the calendar year and into late winter. Pam will explain when to start seeds indoors or buy seedlings, what seeds to sow directly into your beds, how to nurture soil that is used year round, the best veggie varieties for fall-into-winter growing and what crops are best for winter-into-spring container gardens.

Speaker Bio: Pam Peirce’s classic regional book, “Golden Gate Gardening,” has been helping California gardeners grow food since 1993. Its third edition, released in spring of 2010, includes much new material, including new planting calendars that carry its usefulness much farther inland than previous editions. Pam also helped to found the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners, or SLUG, an organization to support community and home gardeners.

She taught horticulture at City College of San Francisco for 30 years. Her Q&A column, “Golden Gate Gardener,” appears in the San Francisco Chronicle, and her website, pampeirce.com.

    Prices for October 8, 2014 at 6:30PM


Soil-Building

Great Soil From the Ground Up with Laura Nicoletti

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Great Soil From the Ground Up with Laura Nicoletti
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$25 – Register early and save $5!
Great organic gardens start with great soil! Discover the physical and biological properties of soil, the difference between soil texture and structure, and how to test your soil. In this informative workshop, beginners and and green thumbs alike will learn how to improve soil structure by increasing the soil’s organic matter content. We will discuss the intricate soil food web and its importance for material recycling. Additional soil building topics will include hot and cold composting, vermicomposting, sheet mulching and cover cropping. After learning about organic soil cultivation from principles to practices, we will head out to Pollinate’s demonstration garden to build a hot compost pile, start a vermicompost system and observe other soil building strategies at work.

Instructor Bio: Botanist Laura Nicoletti is the founder of the sustainable garden design company For A Greener Living, located in Mill Valley, California. A Bay-Friendly Qualified Landscape Professional, she loves to teach her clients how to become stewards of the environment around them, cultivating sustainable gardens. She is also a Marin County Master Gardener, and member of the Marin Master Gardeners Pruning Guild. She earned a certificate in Sustainable Landscaping from Sonoma State University and received her Permaculture Design Certification from the Regenerative Design Institute in Bolinas, CA. A former chef and caterer, Laura is a native of Venice, Italy, and loves to use fresh ingredients from her edible garden in her cooking.

    Prices for October 12, 2014 at 11:00AM


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Container Natives: Growing for Color, Texture, and Blooms with Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds Native Plant Nursery

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Container Natives: Growing for Color, Texture, and Blooms with Pete Veilleux of East Bay Wilds Native Plant Nursery
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$25 – Register early and save $5!
Living in an urban area or being a renter can mean having to do a fair amount of gardening in containers. Never fear! In this informative lecture/discussion we will learn the basics of container gardening with a focus on beautiful native plants. Enjoy stunning arrangements of potted native plants as a focal point in your garden, and learn the secrets to getting the most vibrant foliage colors, interesting textures, and long-lived blooms. In addition, we’ll cover how to design and maintain a native container garden long term,exploring various potting mediums and amendments, pests and diseases, and take a look at the options for the containers themselves.

Instructor Bio: Pete Veilleux left a 20 year career in social services and international development to pursue his love of gardening with native plants. He is the owner of East Bay Wilds – a design/install and maintenance service and native plant nursery. When landscaping for others, his primary goal is to help people make the connection between their yards and the greater, wild world around us.

    Prices for October 15, 2014 at 6:30PM


Pumpkin-Carving

Family Pumpkin Carving with Pollinate Farm & Garden and Outdoor Afro

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Family Pumpkin Carving with Pollinate Farm & Garden and Outdoor Afro
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Pollinate Farm & Garden and Outdoor Afro team up in October for a classic fall activity. Play with your food — join us for our first annual Pumpkin Carving workshop! At this family-friendly event we will learn about the diversity of pumpkins, squashes and gourds, how and when to grow them, and take a look at examples of their many uses. We will explore common and unusual carving tools and take a look at some fun, spooky, and over-the-top pumpkin carving designs. Then we’ll head out to Pollinate’s demonstration garden for some Jack-o’-lantern carving creativity of our own. Participants will be able to take home their creations. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Pollinate Farm & Garden is an urban homestead emporium located in the heart of Oakland. Pollinate encourages and supports home- and community-based food production by providing supplies for seed-to-table organic farming and gardening, food preservation, small scale livestock raising and beekeeping. Pollinate Farm & Garden teaches the “hows” and “whys” of DIY Food.

Outdoor Afro is a social community that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, birding, fishing, gardening, skiing and more! Outdoor Afro disrupts the false perception that black people do not have a relationship with nature, and works to shift the visual representation of who can connect with the outdoors.

    Prices for October 18, 2014 at 10:30AM


Fall-into-Fall

Fall into Fall: Seasonal Preserving with Shakirah Simley

Private location

Address provided upon registration

San Lorenzo, CA

94580

Learn to Preserve Fall’s Bounty with Shakirah Simley
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$80 – Register early and save $5!
Missed our Summer Canning Intensive last month? No worries! We’re doing it again – and this time in a beautiful outdoor kitchen! We’re taking the heat and fruit prep outside and into the gazebo to enjoy our gorgeous East Bay weather.

On October 19th, “Fall into Fall” with our second preserving course featuring apples, pears, figs and persimmons! In this very hands-on, 3-hour class, Shakirah (founder of Slow Jams and Bi-Rite Market’s ‘Canner In Residence’) will tackle all the tricks to thicker fruit butter, seasonal seasonings and deliciously boozy fruits. We will cover an introduction to canning theory, safety and preserving basics, and you will learn Shakirah’s canning secrets for autumnal treats!

As any preserver can attest, October is the time to can fruit so that the flavors develop in time for holiday giving. When it comes to homemade gifts, it’s definitely not too early to start your holiday making!

Class participants will receive three (3) hours of hands-on canning instruction, recipes, full jars of everything we make and a boost of canning confidence. We’ll also enjoy a delicious hearty snack.

About Shakirah:
Shakirah Simley is the Community Coordinator and Canner-in-Residence for Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, where she wears a number of hats including: developing jams and preserves for its PUBLIC Label line, cooking instructor at 18 Reasons (its educational arm) and community coordinator in charge of giving and community outreach, with a penchant for programs that support youth and increase access to healthy food. Before arriving at Bi-Rite, Shakirah attended the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received her Master’s degree and studied under Italian canners. She has previously owned her own small-artisanal jam business, Slow Jams. She was recently named one of Zagat’s “30 under 30: SF Bay Area Up and Comers.” She loves putting her food systems, community engagement and jammy talents to work every day.

    Prices for October 19, 2014 at 2:00PM

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California Bees and Blooms – Bee-friendly Habitat Gardening with Jaime Pawelek

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

California Bees and Blooms – Bee-friendly Habitat Gardening with Jaime Pawelek
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Come learn about the secret world of native bees and the benefits of attracting them to your garden! Jaime Pawelek (Wild Bee Garden Design and the Urban Bee Lab) will give a presentation on California’s 1,600 species of native bees followed by Q & A. We will then move outside to build native bee condos to take home, and we’ll build some bee-friendly container gardens for Pollinate’s honey bees. Jaime will be joined by authors Dr. Gordon Frankie and Rollin Coville at 1pm for a book signing on their newly released “California Bees & Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists”.

Instructor Bio: Jaime Pawelek is owner of Wild Bee Garden Design. She earned a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies from UC Berkeley and has worked in the Urban Bee Lab for over 4 years. She studies the biology and ecology of native bees and their role in urban ecosystems. She is also a gardener in Marin County and designs bee habitat gardens throughout the Bay Area. She teaches workshops for Master Gardeners, native plant societies and local schools.

    Prices for October 26, 2014 at 11:00AM
  • General $15.00

    (Plus a service fee of $1.52 and a venue fee of $0.00)

How So Many Fruits Came to Grow on the West Coast with John Valenzuela, owner of Cornucopia Food Forest Gardens

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

How So Many Fruits Came to Grow on the West Coast with John Valenzuela, owner of Cornucopia Food Forest Gardens
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Fruitvale? Cherryland? What’s in a name? Join horticulturalist and raconteur John Valenzuela as we talk fruit! From native fruits enjoyed by original peoples for thousands of years, to Spanish missionary and early pioneer introductions from around the world, to modern bred hybrid fruits — we will hear the stories of how all those fruits got here to California, how we can enjoy them today, and explore our role in preserving them for future generations.

Instructor Bio: John Valenzuela is a horticulturist, consultant, educator, and ‘fruit enthusiast’ who is the principal of Cornucopia Food Forest Gardens, and serves as the chairperson of the Golden Gate Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers.

    Prices for November 5, 2014 at 6:30PM
  • General $20.00

    (Plus a service fee of $1.69 and a venue fee of $0.00)

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Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping with Beekeeper and Breeder Alan Karmer
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$40 – Register early and save $5!
New to beekeeping or just want to understand more about what’s involved before plunging in? Curious about all the buzz, why bees need our help and how you can get involved? Join us for an Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping with Alameda County Beekeepers Association member and local hobbyist beekeeper and bee breeder Alan Kramer.

Learn the basics of backyard beekeeping in this popular class! Topics include common hive types, tools and safety equipment, hive maintenance and a hands-on hive inspection. Participants will have an opportunity to taste local honey and receive 10% off our basic safety accessories starter kit.

Instructor Bio: Alan Kramer is a small-scale hobbyist beekeeper and bee breeder in the Berkeley Hills close to Tilden Park, where he has been involved in beekeeping ever since a swarm chose a pine tree in his backyard to bivouac on more than 5 springs ago… Over the past 5 years, Alan has created close to 100 splits and bred well over 100 queens in his effort to make a small-scale source of locally-adapted open-bred queens and nucs available to the local East Bay beekeeping community.

    Prices for November 9, 2014 at 11:00AM
  • Early Bird Registration $35.00

    (Plus a service fee of $2.22 and a venue fee of $0.00)