Events at local farms feature surprises like Zydeco dancing and the chance to help build a playground.
In this newsletter:
● Revel in Cajun music and cuisine at Ardenwood Historic Farm – Aug 15
● Help build a playground at City Slicker Farms – Aug 18–20
● Explore native plants and busy bees at Ploughshares Nursery – August 22 & 27
● Enjoy produce straight from the farm at Star Grocery
Step lively at Ardenwood Historic Farm during a fun-filled day of live music, dance lessons, Cajun and Creole cuisine, and specialty vendors. Performers include Andrew Carriere and the Cajun/Zydeco Allstars, Corey Ledet and his Zydeco Band, Andre Thierry, and the Pine Leaf Boys. Bring a blanket and lawn chair and settle in for the day. Cost: adults $24; youth $7. Info and tickets: here
Roll Up Your Sleeves
Tuesday August 18–Thursday August 20, starting at 8am each day
City Slicker Farms
2847 Peralta St, Oakland
Double Header at Ploughshares Nursery
A Tale of Five Natives
Saturday August 22, noon–2pm
2701 Main St, Alameda
Join Ruby Blume, founder of the Institute of Urban Homesteading and co-author of Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living, for an introduction to pollination ecology and the wild world of bees. Learn about the lifecycles and biology of honeybees and native bees, the differences between the two, and how to encourage bees and insects in your garden. Discussion includes colony collapse disorder, natural beekeeping, and practices that support the health of honeybees. Free.
Thursday August 27, 7–8pm
2701 Main St, Alameda
guide to ecologically minded city living, Edible East Bay
covered it in the back-issue article found here.
Partner Profile: Star Grocery
A Farmers’ Market Every Day at Star Grocery
By Cheryl Angelina Koehler
I recently stopped in at Berkeley’s Star Grocery, which is located a stone’s throw from the new behemoth Safeway at Claremont and College in Oakland’s Rockridge District. One of my favorite indie food markets, Star Grocery is run by Nick Pappas, son of Jim Pappas, who founded the store in 1922 with his brother (also named Nick), and it’s not all that different from what it was in Jim’s day: There’s still a small, curated stock of high-quality, locally made products, with personal service by longtime devoted staff on the floor and at the classy butcher shop/deli in the back. Perhaps the nicest thing is that the produce is all from local organic farms.
“It’s the same exact stuff you can buy at the farmers’ market, but we have it all week long,” Pappas explains as I ogle mounds of heirloom tomatoes, squash, and melons, sprays of vibrant leafy greens, and some fresh garbanzo beans offered with a recipe on how to cook them. As I peruse jars of jam from locals June Taylor and Frog Hollow Farm, I learn about some of the close relationships Pappas and his staff have formed with local producers.
On a previous visit at a time when the Safeway was still under construction, I asked Pappas if he was nervous that his customers might be lured away by the shiny new bigness down the street. “Not right now,” he replied then. “They’re all coming here while that store is closed.” With the other place opened now to much aplomb, I ask again, “How’s business?” To my delight, I learn that there’s been no letup since the earlier boom Pappas described. It’s great to know that lots of people still appreciate small, locally owned businesses and recognize the unique shopping experience they offer.
Star Market and Star Meats are open Monday to Saturday 9am–6pm, Sunday: 10am–5pm at 3068 Claremont Avenue, Berkeley.
For a great set of photos depicting the store, along with a charming monologue that’s an unabashed paean to the shop, click here.