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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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Real Food Fermentation with Fermentation Expert and Author Alex Lewin

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Real Food Fermentation with Fermentation Expert and Author Alex Lewin
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New to Fermentation? The process of 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 fermentation talk, demo, and tasting. Taste sauerkraut, fermented cole slaw, and beet kvass (fermented beet juice). Watch them being made, and learn how to make them at home. Bring any questions you have about ingredients, technique, flavor, equipment, or anything else! Participants will receive 10% off all fermentation supplies following the workshop, and 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 January 28, 2015 at 6:30PM

Growing Your Own Vegetables from Seed with Birgitt Evans

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Growing Your Own Vegetables from Seed
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Starting vegetables from seed can save money and give you access to thousands of vegetable varieties not available as transplants. We will start with a discussion of the history of seed saving and learn which seeds are best sown directly in the ground and which are best started indoors. The class will also cover cleanliness, seed starting mixes, containers, planting techniques, watering and fertilizing, and sources of light and heat. We will also learn how to “harden off” seedlings before transplanting out into the garden. Students will practice what they learned by planting several 6-packs of seeds to take home. A resource list will be provided.

Instructor Bio: Birgitt Evans has been growing vegetables since she was a child. When she went to college, she was introduced to seed starting, composting and community gardening. Birgitt has experimented with seeds ever since, growing 90% of the plants in her large vegetable garden from seeds and growing most of the seedlings available at Pollinate. She is a Member of Alameda County Master Gardeners and helped create the Master Gardener brochure on seed starting.

    Prices for February 4, 2015 at 6:30PM
  • General $25.00

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

Foraging in the Bay Area with Kevin Feinstein

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Foraging in the Bay Area with Kevin Feinstein
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The recent rains have brought the hills to life with wild, lush green growth. Get the scoop on foraging and gathering food in the Bay Area. From urban neighborhoods to the wide open spaces, from garden weeds to forest mushrooms – learn more about the wild food that is growing all around us. We’ll also discuss bigger picture issues such as sustainability, safety, and legality.

Instructor Bio: Kevin Feinstein is an author, teacher, forager, and naturalist. He is the author of the book “The Bay Area Forager” and the E-book “Crash Course in Wild Mushroom Foraging”. With nearly a decade in the field overall, leading wild food walks and related classes, Kevin and his work have been featured in Time magazine, Wall Street Journal Online, Associate Press SF Chronicle, The Travel Channel, KWMR, KPFA, The Examiner and many more news outlets. He has also managed a children’s center garden in Lafayette for the past 8 years, using ecological techniques well beyond organic standards. Kevin is at home in Walnut Creek, CA.

    Prices for February 11, 2015 at 6:30PM
  • General $25.00

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

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. Louella will also be on hand to sign copies of her book. 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.

    Prices for February 15, 2015 at 11:00AM
  • General $40.00

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

Do It Yourself Public Relations (DIY PR) with Media Strategist Haven Bourque

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Do It Yourself Public Relations (DIY PR)
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So, you want your smiling face on the New York Times’ cover or, just a mention in OaklandLocal? Get ready for action! Pollinate Farm & Garden is proud to welcome PR dynamo Haven Bourque for a unique workshop especially for small businesses and organizations.

Engaging with media can be a gold mine or a minefield. For small businesses, organizations with limited resources, in-house communications teams wearing many hats that could use a boost, or entrepreneurs who need to master working with reporters, editors & freelance writers, we’ll teach you all the essentials.

In DIY PR, we’ll cover the basics of building a media outreach strategy what’s news, and what isn’t; we’ll discuss creating a messaging hierarchy for your organization; creating key messages for specific campaigns, events or launches, identifying outlets/beat/writers and finding them, how to hand-pitch individual writers, bloggers, investigative journalists and editors, how to pitch TV or radio broadcast for events, writing effective press releases, media advisories and op-eds.

We’ll share our top 3 pitch mistakes and talk about what journalists really hate about PR inquiries. Then, we’ll cover why and how to develop a media list of key contacts, and what resources are available to do that. We’ll also review what mass distribution or wire services to use or not and how to use them if you do.

You’ll discover what makes a “good source” and how to become one, building lasting relationships with journalists, and how to use Twitter to engage, not enrage, your target journalists.

We’ll also cover when you might want to hire an agency or PR contractor; and if you do, how to negotiate a successful agreement.

Haven Bourque founded Oakland- based HavenBMedia (www.HavenBMedia.com) to bring communications expertise to food system change. She develops communications strategies, trains media advocates and spokespersons, and taps the power of social media for diverse organizations ranging from national non-profits to small businesses, social entrepreneurs and community activists working to reform food systems around community health, social justice and environmental conservation. She is a contributor to food issues blog CivilEats.com, co-founded Bay Area Women Leaders in Food & Ag, is a judge for the 2015 Good Food Awards, and was a co-organizer of the nation’s first TEDx conference focused on farmworkers. Follow her on Twitter: @HavenBourque.

    Prices for February 18, 2015 at 6:30PM
  • General $20.00

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

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Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop with John Valenzuela, owner of Cornucopia Food Forest Gardens

Pollinate Farm & Garden

2727 Fruitvale Avenue

Oakland, CA

94601

Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop with John Valenzuela, owner of Cornucopia Food Forest Gardens
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Learn the art and science of fruit tree grafting! If you plan on attending the CRFG Scion exchange on January 11, then you know the value of collecting scions for spring grafting to expand the varieties of fruit available in your backyard orchard.

In this hands-on workshop, you will learn the “hows” and “whys” of fruit tree grafting. After learning some basic theory about tree culture, techniques and tools, we will head out to the Pollinate orchard and learn to graft onto an established fruit tree. We will also have premium bareroot fruit trees for sale onto which you can graft your collected scions or buds. Students will leave the workshop with the knowledge and confidence to make it work, and will receive 33% off our premium bare root trees and 10% off grafting tools and supplies.

Instructor Bio: John Valenzuela is a horticulturist, consultant, and educator specializing in fruit trees and food forests, working throughout the Bay Area. He also serves as chairperson for the Golden Gate Chapter of the California Rare Fruit Growers. He is owner of Cornucopia Food Forest Gardens growing an ecosystem of abundance.

    Prices for February 22, 2015 at 11:00AM
  • General $25.00

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

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
  • General $5.00

    (Plus a service fee of $1.17 and a venue fee of $0.00)

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
  • General $25.00

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


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

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


kramercompositebeek_small

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

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

kramercompositebeek_small

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)