Parched Aloe Plants Bloom with Orange Spikey Flower Thingys


It’s January, but it feels like October. Which is nice, except for the fact that it’s unholy and terrible. Bernal Hill is supposed to be verdant and green this time of year. Yet today Bernal Hill is only sort of green, with lots and lots of brown.


Meanwhile, Danielle Mills posted this photo in the Bernalwood Flickr group. I believe this is an aloe plant, because I’ve got several of them in my own back yard that look exactly the same right now.

The red body means it’s a bit parched. I also believe the big red aloe flowers may have bloomed a bit early this year, but I defer to our resident botanists on this.

Regardless, please commence rain dancing.

Tangentially Related PS: Speaking of the Bernalwood Flickr group, Neighbor Markus shares word that you can now add your photos to the Bernalwood group simply by adding #bernalwood to the photo title, description, or tags. No need to manually add the photo to the group anymore; just type #bernalwood somewhere in there and the photo will magically appear in the Bernalwood group. As shown here. Handy. Share with us please!  Your photos are always beloved.

Alemany Farm Raising Funds to Build Outdoor Kitchen



There’s some tasty infrastructure news coming out of the Alemany Farm that overlooks scenic I-280 along Alemany Boulevard. Plans are afoot to build an outdoor kitchen on the site, and  former Bernal resident Aaron Mckenzie from the California College of the Arts is spearheading involved with the design effort. Aaron writes:

A team of artists, architects and designers from California College of the Arts is working with the Alemany Farm to design and construct an outdoor community Kitchen on site. The team has been awarded a $10,000 grant though the IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Awards to execute this collaborative, community-based project.

Meanwhile, a Kickstarter campaign got underway yesterday to complete funding for the project:

Our set goal is to raise $5,000 to help cover the cost of permitting fees, contract labor, an ADA accessible walkway, as well as some finishing touches to the kitchen. With the additional funds, we anticipate to finish construction by the end of September. But with this minimum goal, we can only give the farm the bare essentials. So we’re hoping to raise more than just $5,000. The hope for us is to build the farm a fully functional kitchen, complete with natural gas line and stove. This will allow the farm to conduct proper cooking classes in the long run.

Here’s the video:

The fund drive ends on August 19. You can find more information about the project on the Facebook, or visit the Kickstarter page to make a contribution.

PHOTOS: Alemany Farm Outdoor Kitchen

Have Fruit, Will Can It: Bernal Neighbor Will Transform Your Surplus Produce Into Tasty Treats



This is so great. If you have fruit trees on your Bernal Heights property, Neighbor Deborah from Montcalm Street is prepared to make an offer that’s hard to refuse: She will turn surplus produce from your fruit trees into tasty treats… and share the bounty with you.

Neighbor Deborah tells Bernalwood:

Summer is almost here! Or at least what passes for summer in San Francisco. Ripening fruit is hiding in plain sight on sidewalk trees, and I suspect much more is tucked away in back yards; more than the owners can eat.

I’ve decided to try a new project. I’ve been a home canner and bread baker for years, mainly for gifts and charitable fundraising. I’ve started to notice the fruit trees in our neighborhood, on the streets and in people’s back yards. I have a hunch much of that fruit is likely going to waste, so I thought I’d contact neighbors to see if people are interested in giving away some of their fruit in exchange for a few jars of whatever I can produce from it.

If you have a fruit tree that’s giving more than you know what to do with, I’m happy to take the produce and turn it into jam, sauce, or some other treat-in-a-jar and return a few jars to you in exchange. What better way to eat locally?

If you have fruit to share, please contact me at sfbernaljam *AT* gmail *DOT* com.

PHOTOS: Some of Neighbor Deborah’s fruity handiwork, via Neighbor Deborah

Mysterious Bernal Hill Tree-Shrub Thing Now Protected by Powerful Force-Field


It’s a well-known fact that the big tree/shrub thingy atop Bernal Hill plays host to many dark mysteries. But now it seems that the distinctive plant has also acquired supernatural powers.

Over on the Instagram, photographer Nick Hatamiya channeled the wonderful “Kamehameha” Dragonball photo meme coming out of Japan to show Bernal’s tree-shrub thingy repelling an intrusive bystander with a powerful blast of invisible energy.

Nicely done!

PHOTO: @nickhata

Footsteps-of-Spring Herald a New Season on Bernal Hill



Neighbor Donna has taken note of a seasonal flora transformation on Bernal Hill:

Passersby may not notice these small, low-lying plants that grow on the north side and on the top of Bernal hill. These are footsteps-of-spring, some of the earliest spring flowers. They have been popping up in more locations, but seem to like the rockier spots. Their appearance always make me happy, and their name can tell you why!

NOTE: I also saw a few California Poppies popping up last weekend as well.

Blossoming Trees Are Lovely, But Maybe Not Quite In The Way You Think

It's spring time! Cherry blossoms in February.




If you’ve set foot on just about any Bernal Heights street during the last few days, you’ve probably noticed the spectacular pink blossoms that are peaking around the neighborhood.

They look like cherry blossoms, but Bernalwood sources say they’re not. Sakura happens later in the year, so our sources tell us the pink trees we see now are actually Ume (plum blossoms).

Armchair arborists are welcome to weigh in on this, but in the meantime, everyone is encouraged to partake of the blooming while it’s booming.

PHOTOS: From top, Spieri_SF, Telstar Logistics, Erin Archuleta, and Leslie Jonath

UPDATED: Large Tree Validates Newtonian Physics on Virginia Street

It probably wasn’t intended as a science experiment, but a big tree fell on the 300 block of Virginia during the wee hours of this morning, taking out a fence along the way. Neighbor Blair reports:

Apparently this tree fell at around 4:00 a.m. Thursday. According to neighbor, probably from lack of care, rather than due to storm.

UPDATE: The City sent a DPW crew to eat the fallen tree, and our local broadcast media decided that a fallen tree is so newsworthy that it warrants sending two satellite trucks to the scene:

“Reporting live from Virginia Street, this is Bernalwood Action News.”

UPDATE 2: KGO-TV identifies City budget cuts, rather than Newtonian physics, as the cause of the tree’s collapse:

Owner Patricia Mahoric wasn’t injured and her house sustained only minimal damage. Nonetheless, she believes the incident could have been avoided if the city had responded to her repeated calls about the tree.

She says she noticed the tree was in bad shape and appeared to be dying back in May. Since then, she says she has been calling to get the city to come out and take care of it.

A Department of Public Works spokeswoman says Mahoric is right. She says Mahoric did everything correctly but because of severe budget cuts, the city has reduced the pruning cycle and there are now only three tree inspectors for the entire city.

PHOTOS: Neighbor Blair