Do you know the myrobalan plum tree? Of course you do! It’s the volunteer plum tree that seems to sprout up overnight in your sideyard and proceed to take over, dropping meh-tasting plums all over the ground come summertime. Some people harvest the fruit but the flavor tends toward bland, and the jam from these plums tends toward soupy. A friend of mine tried rebranding them into “big ass cherries” but if we are honest with ourselves we know that these plums lack that cherry bite that almondy-cherry yumminess. So what do you do if you have one of these trees in your backyard and you don’t have a chainsaw and a stump grinder?
Look toward Pollinate, the urban farming supply store in East Oakland. They have one of these cherry plum trees in their “back 40”, but they have transformed it. With John Valenzuela, Yolanda at Pollinate transformed that meh tree to a wow tree by grafting all kinds of yum plums and apricots onto the tree. Because the myrobalan was a pretty large tree, the new grafted branches are now huge too, only a few years after being grafted.
Come see it–and me!–in the flesh May 20th as Pollinate celebrates 5 years of business. I will be there at 2pm, hanging out and signing books by the old plum tree. They have a great selection of urban farming supplies, beekeeping stuff, and plants! and of course, trees.
Pollinate is on 2727 Fruitvale Ave; for more info, https://www.pollinatefarm.com/