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Greentown’s Second Annual Edible Tree Tour!

If you were anywhere near the Los Altos Library Sunday afternoon on June 24, you’d have seen a group of about 50 people walking around talking about trees and the food they produce as part of GreenTown’s Second Annual Edible Tree Walk. Greentown’s executive director, Kris Jensen, was joined by local food historian and policy expert Peter Ruddock and “Silicon Valley’s Favorite Personal Chef” Joni Sare for an in-depth walk and talk about the abundant food growing all around us.

We started with a history lesson by Los Altos Park Maintenance Supervisor Chris Costanzo who spoke about Los Altos’ Heritage Apricot Orchard and then walked across San Antonio Rd. to begin our walk. We stopped at trees along the way to talk about their edible parts—from the expected apricots, pears, citrus and so much more, to the unexpected—syrup made from birch sap and maple leaves cured and made into tempura in a traditional Japanese manner. What made the walk especially fun was the expertise among our walkers. We learned a lot from these friendly folks.

Our walk ended in front of DeMartini’s Fruit Stand with an encouragement to purchase some of the incredible Blenheim apricots grown in our very own orchard!

Here’s some information we talked about along the way:

  1. For those interested in purchasing organic, heirloom fruit trees for your garden, consider purchasing them online from Trees of Antiquity

  2. Be sure to check out Jam for Good, a fun local group that makes jam to benefit kids in Nicaragua

  3. If you’re interested in learning more about the slow food movement, check out our co-sponsor Slow Food South Bay and their upcoming Tour de Coupa bike-ride that visits backyard chicken coops

  4. If you’re interested in taking some incredible cooking classes, Joni Sare offers classes That include Italian, Spanish, French, Thai.

  5. Check out Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, especially the Blenheim Apricot, which was boarded locally.

  6. Transition Palo Alto holds a range of events including films and lectures on 4th Fridays, quarterly Share Faires – Goods, Skills and More – and many others.  You can sign up for the monthly newsletter by e-mail.

  7. Transition Palo Alto also sponsors 3 regular Garden Shares:

  8. 1st Saturdays, 12-1, Soil & Water Garden, Heritage Park, Mountain View

  9. 2nd Saturdays, 10-11, Mar-Oct, Portola Valley Town Hall

  10. 4th Sundays, 11-12, except Dec, Charles Street Gardens, Sunnyvale

  11. You can get more information and/or sign up for Garden Share listservs by e-mail.

  12. Peter Ruddock will be leading a private group to pick a prolific grapefruit tree in Menlo Park at 10:00 AM on July 5.  There is room for others to join. Please e-mail him for more information –

  13. And don’t forget Joni’s amazing recipe: Valencia-Orange-Cake.pdf

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