Sunday, April 29: It must be summer . . . or nearly so. After that rainy spell, everyone wants to be outdoors.
This morning, my 119-year-old dog Pretzel decided to go stand in a patch of sun on the patio, where she was joined by a friendly doe. (You can see the the photo at right if you look into the shadowy background above Pretzel’s skinny butt.) The two spent a half hour together as the doe did some weed clearing. Eventually Pretzel got bored and came inside looking for treats, but now every time she goes out, the doe bounds across the creek to say hello.
After the first of the day’s cervine encounters, I paid a quick visit to the UC-owned Gill Tract in Albany, where a large and hopeful group is spending lots of time outdoors, setting up a new and controversial farm. It was fun to see the makeshift work sheds, kitchen, library, and “Kids Only Mustard Forest of Enchantment.” Everybody seemed wildly happy to be out on “The Farm,” even if UC is not exactly pleased with the arrangements. To keep up with the news there, just type “Gill Tract Albany” into your browser.
When I came home, I got an update on the day’s activity at the Temescal Farmers’ Market. “Everybody wanted to buy tomato plants, but they just lined up and waited their turn,” said Peggy Kass of Kassenhoff Growers. “They didn’t seem anxious to get their plants and go. They were just enjoying being outside in the sunshine.”
So now we have to wait patiently until the first local tomatoes ripen in our gardens or arrive at the market. But meanwhile, I want to give a heads-up on some farmers’ market locations that are going through changes.
Urban Village is opening a new market in Lafayette, but the ink was not dry on the contract in time to get opening day into our magazine, so check urbanvillageonline.com if you’re hoping to greet the first Sun Gold cherry tomatoes in Lafayette.
Phat Beets Produce is moving its North Oakland Farmers’ Market to an as yet to be determined, location, so you are advised to check phatbeetsproduce.org if you would like to savor your first Super Sweet 100 cherry tomato of the season there.
Ben Feldman, who administrates the Berkeley Farmers’ Market, has been in touch about their decision to move the Tuesday market to a new spot in South Berkeley. “Residents of South Berkeley do not have the same easy access to fresh, organic, and local produce that other areas of Berkeley have enjoyed,” he wrote. “The current Derby Street location is a few blocks from Berkeley Bowl, while the new market location is not near any major grocery store.” So stay tuned at ecologycenter.org/bfm to find out when the Green Zebra tomatoes might stampeed into that new market.
And if you want to see how Pretzel and the deer are getting along, follow tomato sightings, or get the other news from Edible East Bay, go to our website or look for us on Facebook . . . maybe even Twitter.