Saturday, February 27, 2010

Avocados! and Seedlings! at Sunnyside Organics!

Yesterday we went out to Richmond to the amazing new Sunnyside Organics nursery. They were hosting a volunteer day for non-profits where you could trade a few hours of labor for a few trays of their cast-off seedlings, so we went and helped amend and till some soil for a new garden that their planting outside one of their greenhouses (until the skies opened up and drenched us!)

I wish I had taken a camera to the workday because the space was magical, they are rebuilding a long row of old greenhouses, including repurposing all the old piping to build new tables, sifting tons of rubble from the previous owners out of the soil surrounding the buildings so they can plant in it, and getting their regular nursery operation running there. Pilar, who runs Sunnyside and is pretty much the nicest person ever, has all kinds of great and weird plans for all the different greenhouses, like breeding beneficial insects.

And we got a ton of seedlings to plant at the Free Farm and give away to some other gardens (I don't think Mission High or St. Marks will be ready to plant in time for this batch, but I went with Case who organizes Urban Share and I think they'll make quick use of them)

And bonus of all bonuses, there were two huge fruiting avocado trees on site that we harvested from in the pouring rain! We scavenged about 85 lbs of fruit before we were soaked to the bone, and then we snipped off a big bunch of fruiting wood to graft onto some saplings. Tree did a grafting demo today at the Free Farm workday where he taught a big bunch of people how to graft fruiting wood onto a tree grown from an avocado pit. Keep your fingers crossed that the grafts take!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mission District Citrus

One of the beautiful things out our mediterranean climate here in San Francisco is that we can have bearing fruit trees almost all year round. In the dreariest, wettest winter days, our citrus trees shine like little bursts of sunshine, staving off the cold season, and producing abundant amounts of fruit even in tight quarters. There are days when I walk down the street and think San Francisco must be in the running for meyer lemon capitol of the world, and our oranges aren't too shabby either. We've had a couple really nice excursions out in the Mission District recently, picking beautiful meyers, satsuma mandarins, and some really sweet oranges that I'm still not sure of the variety.
Harvests definitely slow during citrus season, I think since citrus hangs on the tree for a bit and is sort of self contained when it does fall, it doesn't create the urgency that a plum tree, heavy with fruit and threatening to create a slick of partially fermented mush all over the yard, can instill in people. But please, don't hold tight to your citrus! There are many folks in the city that can make good use of that healthy dose of vitamin C. Drop us a line or give a call and we'll happily come out and pick even the thickest skinned lemons!