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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!



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Goats 101: Raising Goats in Your Backyard

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Goats 101: Raising Goats in Your Backyard
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Caprine Curious? If you’ve ever considered raising goats, this is a great class to get you started!

Come learn the ins, outs, ups, downs, and nitty gritty truth about keeping goats in an urban setting.

In this hand-on workshop, we will discuss the basic requirements for raising goats including appropriate breeds for small spaces, food, water, shelter, health care, herd management, neighbor relations and local laws. You will get to meet a few goats and even try your hand at milking! You’ll also see how to give a vaccine shot and trim hooves.

Instructor Bio: Kitty Sharkey an urban homesteader, consultant, and educator who believes that “You don’t have to move to change the place you live.” After purchasing a foreclosed home in East Oakland, she began the process of transforming an empty yard into an urban oasis. She has since become a master of small space design and utilization, packing an entire urban farm into her 2,000 square foot back and side yards. Focusing on livestock, Kitty raises goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits, quail, and honeybees. She also practices raised bed and container gardening with an emphasis on utilizing vertical space and water conservation. Aside from typical homesteading activities like gardening, preserving, cheese making, baking and brewing, Kitty also enjoys fishing and foraging for mushrooms and other wild edibles.

    Prices for March 15, 2015 at 11:00AM


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City Chickens 101 with East Bay SPCA President and CEO Allison Lindquist

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

City Chickens 101 with East Bay SPCA President and CEO Allison Lindquist
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Need chicken advice? New to chickens? Chicken curious? Join Pollinate Farm & Garden for City Chickens 101 with East Bay SPCA President and CEO Allison Lindquist.

Discover how easy it is to raise chickens in your own backyard! Chickens not only make entertaining and fun companions, they come with the added benefit of great tasting eggs and a constant supply of fertilizer!

Beginner Topics will include breed selection, feeding, coop requirements, daily care, common issues, and caring for chicks. Seasoned chicken whisperers are also welcome to bring your questions.

And of course, Pollinate Farm & Garden will have a variety of popular chick breeds available.

Allison Lindquist is President/CEO of the East Bay SPCA. She has spent over twenty years in the field of animal welfare. Prior to joining the East Bay SPCA in 2006, Allison served as Assistant Director for ten years with the Oakland Zoo. Her work experience also includes ten years as manager in the securities/financial field in both Boston and SF, and two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. She holds a BA in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University. Allison’s pack at home includes rescued Great Danes, Chihuahuas and a pit bull; four alpacas, and way too many very spoiled chickens.

    Prices for March 21, 2015 at 10:30AM

Beneficial Insects: Ecological Pest Control 101 with Laura Nicoletti

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Beneficial Insects: Ecological Pest Control 101 with Laura Nicoletti
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When it comes to gardening, insects aren’t always pests. In fact, some insects, called “beneficials,” are actually a boon to gardeners. They prey on the pesky insects that gardeners don’t want, and they help to pollinate flowers and maintain soil health. This workshop will focus on the world of insects and their importance for watershed ecology, healthy gardens and the natural world. Topics covered will include the benefits of conservation biological control — a technique for integrating beneficial insects for natural pest control — and enhancing garden habitats with the right plant selection to attract beneficial insects.

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 March 22, 2015 at 11:00AM


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Hands-On Garden Tool Sharpening and Maintenance with Blacksmith Grant Marcoux

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Hands-On Garden Tool Sharpening and Maintenance with Blacksmith Grant Marcoux
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The quality of garden tools is highly variable, and construction methods determine the price point. But price does not always reflect quality! Gardening is manual labor and can be very demanding. Knowing how to use and care for tools will reduce the amount of wear and tear on your body. A sharp, well maintained tool will be safer and easier to use, and cause less fatigue. In this hands-on workshop, we will discuss construction, selection and care for shears, shovels, axes, machetes, hoes, cultivators, weeders and more! Learn what goes into the construction of a quality tool, and how to care of it so that it will last a lifetime or more. Class space is limited, so enroll early. Bring your tools and get them ready for Spring gardening!

Instructor’s Bio: After retiring from a career in law enforcement, Canada native Grant Marcoux began a new career as a blacksmith. In addition to creating beautiful and practical metal works in his shop, Pilgrim Soul Forge, Grant repairs and sharpens knives and agricultural hand tools. Grant is blessed with a wonderful sense of humor, a fine aesthetic and an appreciation for quality. An urban farmer who now resides in Alameda, Grant grows vegetables, berries, several fruit trees, and keeps chickens and bees.

    Prices for March 29, 2015 at 11:00AM
  • General $25.00

    (Plus a service fee of $1.87 and a venue fee of $0.00)


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Beekeeping 101 – 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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Spring is here, and the hives are booming!

Are you new to bees? Are you considering keeping hives of your own this year, but unsure what it takes to handle them? If so, then this popular hands-on class is for you!

Seasoned Beekeeper Alan Kramer will cover all you need to know to get started with your own backyard Langstroth hive. The benefits of beekeeping are many! Not only are honeybees efficient pollinators for your garden fruits, veggies and flowers; backyard
beekeepers also reap the sweet rewards of honey to eat, wax for soaps, candles and crafting as well as medicinal propolis and pollen products!

In this workshop you will learn about the history of beekeeping; types of hives; hive placement; necessary tools and equipment; safety considerations; the honeybee life cycle; the beekeeper’s year; how and where to get bees; and threats to the honeybees worldwide. Following the lecture, discussion and Q&A, we will suit up and head out to the Pollinate orchard to see the bees in action! You’ll help do a hands-on hive inspection, so you’ll learn what to look for and experience what it’s really like to work with a hive. After our inspection, we will head back to the classroom for some honey tasting!

Participants will receive 10% off our basic safety accessories starter kit.

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 April 12, 2015 at 11:00AM
  • General $40.00

    (Plus a service fee of $2.39 and a venue fee of $0.00)


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Hands-On Fermentation with Real Food Fermentation Author Alex Lewin

The Dimond Rec Center Kitchen near Pollinate Farm & Garden

3860 Hanly Road

Oakland, CA

94602

Hands-On Fermentation with Real Food Fermentation Author Alex Lewin
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Alex Lewin is Back!
New to Fermentation? The process of lacto-fermentation transforms food, adding flavor and making it more nutritious. Fermented foods include sauerkraut, cheese, beer, vinegar, kombucha, and many more. Please join fermentation expert and author Alex Lewin for a hands-on fermentation experience!

Join Alex as we discuss the theory of fermented foods, and its numerous health benefits. We will taste a number of ferments, and then move to the kitchen to make lacto-fermented sauerkraut and tasty beet kvass (fermented beet juice). For our Q&A, please bring any questions you have about ingredients, technique, flavor, equipment, or anything else!

Participants will take home samples of their kitchen classroom creations and receive a Pollinate coupon for 10% off all fermentation supplies. Alex will also be on hand to sign his book.

Alex Lewin is the author of “Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen”, the first fermentation book with step-by-step photographs specifically designed for home cooks. He regularly teaches workshops on fermentation and related topics.

A graduate of Harvard, the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Alex seeks to create a healthier and tastier world by spreading the word about fermentation and real food. He is at home in Boston and in the Bay Area.

    Prices for April 19, 2015 at 2:00PM
  • General $40.00

    (Plus a service fee of $2.39 and a venue fee of $0.00)


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Beekeeping 101 – Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping with Beekeeper and Breeder Alan Karmer
Show Full Description
Spring is here, and the hives are booming!

Are you new to bees? Are you considering keeping hives of your own this year, but unsure what it takes to handle them? If so, then this popular hands-on class is for you!

Seasoned Beekeeper Alan Kramer will cover all you need to know to get started with your own backyard Langstroth hive. The benefits of beekeeping are many! Not only are honeybees efficient pollinators for your garden fruits, veggies and flowers; backyard
beekeepers also reap the sweet rewards of honey to eat, wax for soaps, candles and crafting as well as medicinal propolis and pollen products!

In this workshop you will learn about the history of beekeeping; types of hives; hive placement; necessary tools and equipment; safety considerations; the honeybee life cycle; the beekeeper’s year; how and where to get bees; and threats to the honeybees worldwide. Following the lecture, discussion and Q&A, we will suit up and head out to the Pollinate orchard to see the bees in action! You’ll help do a hands-on hive inspection, so you’ll learn what to look for and experience what it’s really like to work with a hive. After our inspection, we will head back to the classroom for some honey tasting!

Participants will receive 10% off our basic safety accessories starter kit.

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 April 12, 2015 at 11:00AM
  • General $40.00

    (Plus a service fee of $2.39 and a venue fee of $0.00)

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Beekeeping 101 – Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping with Beekeeper and Breeder Alan Karmer
Show Full Description
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 Pollinate Farm & Garden 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.

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 October 18, 2015 at 11:00AM
  • General $40.00

    (Plus a service fee of $2.39 and a venue fee of $0.00)