Alameda in pictures: Down on the farm

Alameda in pictures: Down on the farm

Richard Bangert

Photos by Richard Bangert.

As I was winding up an unproductive drive around Alameda Point looking for birds last Saturday, I came upon the gate to the Alameda Point Collaborative farm. It was wide open and work was happening. I decided to check it out.

Upon entering, I met three women volunteers from the Junior League busily transporting mulch chips from a pile at the gate to a crop row. A few dozen yards away, farm supervisor Evan Krokowski was running a rototiller down crop rows where harvesting was complete. The greenhouse was getting tidied up and trays of sprouted plants were being hustled inside.

As I was taking photos of the seed sprouts, one of the trainees in the farm program voluntarily assumed a pose for me to take a photo and said, “I’m the most important product.” Point taken, although I felt I would have been overstepping the bounds of hospitality to take his photo: Evan the supervisor, now directing the action in the greenhouse, had only known me for five minutes.

Krokowski set up the farm from scratch seven years ago. It’s right next door to the Ploughshares Nursery. You can see it from Main Street, but the entrance is at 2600 Barbers Point Road.

The program is called Farm2Market, and it provides individuals with a list of job skills. The program sells produce on a subscription basis, and the proceeds are plowed back into it.

Most interesting agricultural fact learned: After asparagus spears are harvested, the plant is allowed to grow so that the root system can store up energy for next season. I would never have guessed that the six-foot-high, wispy, herb-like hedgerow (see photo) was actually asparagus plants.

Coming up on October 18, the Collaborative is holding its annual Harvest Festival. The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and all are welcome!

Richard Bangert writes the Alameda Point Environmental Report blog and occasionally sends out a tweet.