Fruitvale Gets an Urban Farm Store

When Birgitt Evans first started gardening thirty years ago, she had to purchase nearly everything — the seeds, the fertilizer, and equipment — from a mail-order catalog. You would think that things would be much easier now, in a day and age when a magazine called Modern Farmer is the most talked-about new publication and when entire schools are dedicated to the art and science of urban homesteading (including one based right here in the East Bay).

To a certain extent, they are. But according to Evans, an Alameda County Master Gardener, urban farmers in the Bay Area still have to go to six or seven different stores to get everything they need — and they still end up having to mail-order a few specialized items. So Evans and fellow DIY enthusiast (and chicken- and beekeeping expert) Yolanda Burrell decided to do something about it. Their new urban farm store, Pollinate (2727 Fruitvale Ave.), is designed to be a one-stop-shop for gardeners and animal husbandry practitioners of all different skill levels. Located in Oakland’s Fruitvale district, Pollinate launched in late March, but this weekend will be the store’s official grand opening.

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