You’re going Commercial By: Kirstin Jackson-Ellis                                       With 15 wineries alone listed as members of the East Bay Vintner’s Alliance and many more making wine away from the spotlight, the East Bay has proven a popular place…

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BY KRISTIN COURTEMANCHE                       That buzzing sound you hear may be the economy finally getting under way, but more likely it is the collective cacophony of bees around the Bay as apiarists open their hives to see how they have fared through winter. Honeybees, winged…

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By: Helen Krayenhoff A seed is the amazing container that holds the promise of future abundant harvest. It never fails to amaze me that a small tomato seed can grow into a six-foot-tall plant covered with hundreds of bright bite-sized tomatoes in just a few months. In a more serious and global view, seeds are…

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by: ann ralph                               When backyard gardeners plant fruit trees we have different motivations than farmers do. We want fruit to share with our friends and family and we want fruit that tastes like fruit. We’d like fruit grown without chemicals…

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Fremont’s historic Niles District might be a little out of the way for most of us East Bay urbanites, but that doesn’t mean we have to forgo its local, seasonal fare. Essanay Café (named for the pioneering movie studio that operated here in the ‘teens) sources as many products as possible from local and organic…

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CONTENTS SPRING 2009      Our cover art is by “J. P.” Panter, an illustrator and painter, who describes herself, to a certain extent, as a part-time pirate of images, a part-time improviser of ideas, and a full-time surveyor of the culture. She does freelance editorial work as well as private commissions and portraits. ThistleCreekStudio.com EDITOR’S…

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It’s a Green Spring Thing! By Barbara Kobsar                       Just as those flower bulbs, the daffodils and tulips, welcome the start of the new growing season, the first spring onions and green garlic at the farmers markets do the same. These once-a-year crops show up…

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HOLDING TIGHT TO TRADITIONS IN BRENTWOOD By: Matthew Green                               This is the story of receding farmland, encroaching suburbia, and a three-year-old boy who refused to sell his tree fort. Within a mile of Brookside Farm, in the Bay Area’s easternmost…

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By Sage Dilts                       I am straining just a bit to hear my grandpa Bob’s soft and gravelly voice. With his one working vocal cord he is striving to answer my question about what it was like growing up in Berkeley during the uncertain times…

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By Cheryl Angelina Koehler                         As dwellers on the edge of a celebrated food-producing region, we have been witness to the diminution and degradation of farmlands and the dissolution of family farming. We know it’s happening throughout the world, but do we really see?…

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