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Spring Fling: Get Your Farmer On (And Find a Date!)

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Spring Fling!

The weather-guessers (that’s what my old roommate calls meteorologists) all shared characteristically incorrect predictions of snow this weekend. What a crock. Despite this ridiculously cold weather, springtime is right around the corner.  The days are getting longer, songbirds are starting to give each other lascivious looks, and the blooming acacia is rousing my dormant seasonal allergies. It’s happening! Spring is coming! ‘Tis the season to plant and the moment to mate!

Thus, it’s time to unleash your inner farmer. Not only because spring crops should be put in the ground soon, but because it’s hip. If you want to bag that hot waitress at Tartine or the cashier at Bi-Rite,  your windowsills better be full of homegrown herbs. Put on a plaid shirt, get some mud on your jeans, and let that five o’clock shadow come to fruition. To score extra points, try to work the words “Alice Waters,” “Michael Pollon,” “sustainability,” or “urban farming” into every sentence. Grow a garden and find a girlfriend all in one fell swoop. Here are three events this week that will help your cause:

1. It is once again time for the 12th Annual Bay Area Seed Swap. I’ve posted about this event a handful of times already, so if you’re not yet saving seeds, then shame on you! I mean, I still haven’t started doing it, but I expect way more from you than I do from myself. Role model, shmole shmodel. Help ME help YOU. Show me the money. You had me at hello. I don’t know how I got to free word association, but here we are. You are here. The weather is here, wish you were beautiful. Aaaaand scene.

Friday, March 4, 7pm–9pm
12th Annual Bay Area Seed Swap
Ecology Center
2530 San Pablo Ave. [Berkeley]
FREE (w/ potluck dish or seeds, $10 suggested donation otherwise)

2. The first annual Spring Fling Hydroponic & Organic Gardening Fair in Oakland. Now, “hydroponic” is most often a euphemism used by pot-smokers who know what euphemisms are. But you can assuredly learn a lot about non-weed gardening at this event as well. Plus the more you learn about “the latest indoor gardening and renewable energy products,” the more you’ll have to talk about with that super cute farmer’s market girl you have a crush on!

Saturday & Sunday, March 5 & 6, 10am–4pm
2011 Spring Fling Hydroponic & Organic Gardening Fair
3rd Street Hydroponics
647 4th St. [Oakland]

3. On Monday, Seattle chef Kurt Timmermeister will speak about his new book Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land. It chronicles how he turned a 13-acre patch of weeds into a working dairy farm, Kurtwood Farms. Now, as a Jew and a vegan, I’m not exactly Timmermeister’s target demographic. But I am determined to turn all of you infantile teat-sucking milk-drinkers into organic-loving herb-growers. And I don’t mean “Mom, these brownies you made smell funny,” “I’m slappin’ da bass, mon,” “hydroponic” herb. I mean, like, thyme. Maybe some parsley, sage, and rosemary, if you wanna go all Simon and Garfunkel. Which I do, because they knew how to Jew it up right. Sorry, do it up right. Common error. (BTW, I will take a cue from Timmermeister and name my future farm “Rothwood.” Who knew you could put “wood” at the end of any name and have yourself a proper plantation!)

Monday, March 7, 6pm–7pm
Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land
Omnivore Books on Food
3885a Cesar Chavez St. [Mission]

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Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe - Pennywise Reporter

Chloe's youth was split between California and Kauai, frolicking on a macadamia nut farm in the tropics and landing finally in the Bay Area. Raised by super-Jew hippies, and the youngest of three sisters, Chloe learned early the virtues of thrift, economy, and green living. To the chagrin of her parents (who hoped, of course, for a Jewish doctor or lawyer), Chloe has put her degree from UC Berkeley to great use by becoming a folk singer. As "Chloe Makes Music" she plays shows throughout SF and beyond, donning vintage frocks, selling handmade merch, and pinching pennies as she sings for her supper. Calling Berkeley home for the last six years, you can think of Chloe as the website's East Bay Correspondent, opening your eyes to the hippie-filled, tree-hugging, organic-loving, vegan-eating, but way-overlooked and awesome assets of Berkeley, Oakland, and beyond.