A beginning list…
Ecology Center, Berkeley. Classes, book store, seed library, and website includes many how-to’s, a wonderful starting place
Urban Adamah, Berkeley, Urban, Jewish farmers with apprentice programs, harvest distributions to food banks and free food stand
BioFuel Oasis, Berkeley. Biodiesel, Urban farm store, and classes on beekeeping, raising chickens, and more
Urban Homesteading, Oakland. Classes in gardening, animal husbandry, kitchen/food arts for us city folk
Master Gardeners–Find volunteer (i.e. free) guidance for garden quandaries, or train to become a master gardener yourself. Sites also include lots of links for gardening info
Contra Costa– http://ccmg.ucdavis.edu
Straightforward description, what, why, how http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheet_mulching
Great step by step directions
More great directions, including comments from experience http://www.patternliteracy.com/books/gaias-garden/how-to-the-ultimate-bomb-proof- sheet-mulch
Free Mulch! from City of Albany
GARDENING IN RAISED BEDS
Note about building materials
Do not use pressure treated wood, due to toxic chemicals in it. Red cedar, black locust, and redwood are rot-resistant, and recommended as far as wood goes.
Why, what materials to use/re-use, how deep to make it (depends on plants) http://ecologycenter.org/terrain/blog/building-raised-beds-for-planting/
Potentially Inexpensive, and great directions
Step by step, as only Sunset doe-
Useful contextual info http://organicgardening.about.com/od/startinganorganicgarden/a/raisedbed.htm
Kits are available to purchase at many sites and local garden shops too–for those with more money, less time or skills. Search for Garden Raised Beds, Kits
We’re considered to be in Zone 17, Sunset’s gardening zones, which you may run into as you research planting.
” ZONE 17: Marine effects in Southern Oregon, Northern and Central California: The climate in this zone features mild, wet, almost frostless winters and cool summers with frequent fog or wind. On most days and in most places, the fog tends to come in high and fast, creating a cooling and humidifying blanket between the sun and the earth, reducing the intensity of the light and sunshine. Some heat-loving plants (citrus, hibiscus, gardenia) don’t get enough heat to fruit or flower reliably.” [but, as we know, lemons and other citrus do well here in our neighborhoods.]
Golden Gate Gardening, 3rd Edition: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Food Gardening in the San Francisco Bay Area & Coastal California
by Pamela Peirce
Considered by some to be local gardening Bible, addresses our microclimates, in addition to everything else Paperback and Kindle
Soil depth requirements
Scroll down to see chart.
Helpful info and things to consider about raised beds too (as you scroll down to chart).
When to plant what
Month-by-month, what to do, including planting starts and in the ground
Simple chart for E. Bay
Listed by each vegie, in a chart.
For Santa Clara, but should be pretty good for here http://www.mastergardeners.org/warm-cool-veg-charts
Which veggies to plant side-by-side?
Middle column is good companions
Right column has the not-so-friendly neighbors
Why and how, including link to worm composting (vermicompost/vermiculture) http://www.stopwaste.org/home/index.asp?page=441
CITY REGULATIONS FOR KEEPING LIVESTOCK (chickens, goats, etc.)
Up to 6 female chickens and/or rabbits. Written consent of neighbors required to get required permit.
Goats allowed temporarily for weed abatement., also requiring permit. http://www.albanyca.org/index.aspx?page=154#chickensandrabbits
Rabbits and fowl must be kept in enclosed coops or cages. Distance from houses regulated.
2 female goats permitted in certain zones, Male goats, sheep, hogs prohibited.
2 cows, calves, or steer permitted in certain zones with specified acreage and permits.
Regulations about coops, stables, barns, manure and more.
http://codepublishing.com/ca/Berkeley, in left nav bar, click on Title 10, Animals, then 10.12, then on whichever animal you’re interested in.
Rodents, rabbits allowed.
4-6 hens permitted depending on size of lot.
Bees: many detailed regulations, permit required.
Pigs and goats permitted, lot size important.
Left Nav Bar, Title 7, Animals, then 7.08, Keeping of Animals