Alameda Backyard Growers
The lovely fall weather in the Bay Area diminishes any sense of urgency about preparing Alameda’s home gardens for the winter and following spring. However it’s a great time to celebrate successes and set the stage for even more next year.
Fava beans and artichokes are spring delights in Alameda as they are in Rome where they appear on restaurant menus by themselves, but also together, with fresh peas, often stewed with the now well-known and accepted pork belly, or bacon.
No one in Alameda should have to buy lemons in the winter. The bayside climate agrees with our most commonly found varieties of lemons, oranges, grapefruit, and mandarins. Today’s residents are the lucky heirs to a rich agricultural history wherein Alameda’s founders planted orchards and farms.
Alameda’s front and back yards contain many citrus trees. Selected lemon and mandarin orange varieties are particularly common here. Citrus trees are easy to care for, but they can be prone to insect damage on the leaves from aphids, leafminers, and thrips, which can all be managed.
During World War I, school gardens materialized as an effort to utilize idle land on urban and suburban school properties. Food was grown at schools for local community food security, to increase nutritional awareness, and to increase youth civic engagement.
Winter chill: As mild as winters can be alongside the bay — perfect for subtropicals that grow so successfully here, e.g., Feijoas, Persimmons, Figs and Citrus — locals still love to grow trees, shrubs, and bulbs that need winter chill in order to perform.
Alameda Backyard Growers (ABG) held their August educational program on site at Farm2Market, the social enterprise farm division of Alameda Point Collaborative (APC).