Sweet & Sour Sunday

On Sunday what made my day extra sweet were lemons.  We had lemons from Sebastapol, Berkeley, and from down the street.  On a day when there wasn’t a lot of produce, having neighbors and friends drop off some produce to share is refreshing and a sweet act of generosity.  Again I am reminded how wonderful fruit trees are and how abundant they can be. And how we can grow a community centered around sharing the surplus and compassion.

In the past two weeks I have been involved in two fruit tree plantings…a week ago we planted 8 fruit trees at the Free Farm and then this weekend we planted 11 fruit trees at Western Park Apartments.  This apartment building, which is for low and moderate income seniors, is one block from the Free Farm on Laguna St.. We have  become friends with many of the seniors living there thanks to Joyce who is a regular Saturday volunteer who greets visitors at our Farm gate. We have gone over there in the past to help spruce up their roof-top garden and the building director decided she would like to see edible landscaping wherever than was space (there is a lot of ivy there that needs pulling up and in fact a group of student volunteers from Stanford went there a while back and cleared a large area for planting).

We went for a high-density planting, hedgerow style at the top of the slight hill, trees planted 4′ apart and pruned to knee high to start with.20130202_3600 (Small) 20130202_3598 (Small)

Margaret  in front of space before the planting

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 bare root trees waiting to be planted

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my favorite tree avocado

Pineapple guava bushes planted in front

20130202_3632 (Small)Pineapple Guava bushes planted in front

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In the future Western Park residents will have access to fresh apples, avocados, plums, pluots, white sapotes, and Asian pears.,

The fun thing about planting  fruit trees is that you can grow varieties of fruit you may have a hard time locating in the market. The other day Angie found a rare variety of avocado at Bi-Rite market…Sir Prize.  I am excited because 3 years ago I  talked a friend into bringing that variety of avocado to San Francisco from a nursery in San Diego and we planted it in the Permaculture Guild garden on 18th and Rhode Island. Here is a picture of the avocado:20130202_3634 (Small)

It tasted delicious and was creamy and had a high oil content.  I can’t wait until it fruits on our tree. I have also planted several other less common avocado  varieties around town: Reed, Nowels, Sharwil, Stewart  Edranol and Lamb Haas. By the time we get fruit from these trees I hope to learn how to graft them, so we can propagate these trees, so we have a source for great avocados, but also wood to propagate more trees. 

Besides the local lemons we had more winter squash that Farmer John donated last week. It was a life saver  getting those squash right when we needed them most.20130127_3643 (Small) Photo0577 Photo0580

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