Like every other community organization in Alameda, Alameda Backyard Growers’ (ABG) Project Pick faced a dilemma when COVID-19 shut down the Bay Area back in March. How could volunteers continue to meet in large groups to pick backyard fruit trees at several locations?
Alameda Backyard Growers
Harvest. In our supermarket-surrounded and 24-hour mini-mart available lives, many of us have lost the concept of what this word once meant. My grandfather, however, was thrilled when as a teenager a century ago he and his brother worked with a crew on a gas-powered hay baler.
Alameda Backyard Growers (ABG) was founded 10 years ago by Amanda MacLean Bruemmer and Janice Edwards in response to the economic meltdown as a way to build community, learn about growing food and give back to those in the community in need.
Just like humans, plants have friends and foes and can thrive or fail when planted in close proximity to one another. By definition, planting one or more types of plants together in a beneficial relationship is called companion planting.
As if there isn’t enough to worry about in 2020, the Bay Area is in the grip of another drought year, having received only 40 percent of the average annual rainfall. Wait! Don’t run away. There is actually something gardeners can do about this problem: Build a simple drip-irrigation system.
In a time of food insecurity, what could be more inviting than a tree covered in fruit? Then again, sometimes the gods can be too kind. Overly generous fruit loads have a way of breaking branches and yielding small, poor-quality fruit if not managed in a timely manner.
People move to the Bay Area for many reasons, among them: work, its unique social life and the fantastic natural beauty of California. But for gardeners who find themselves living here a greater secret awaits, for Alameda has not two, but three growing seasons.
Following on last year’s success, Project Tree has announced the return of its Tree Care Workshop and $25 off Tree Coupon Program. This year’s workshops will be held Saturday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to Noon and Sunday, March 1, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Rhythmix Cultural Works, 2513 Blanding Ave.