Boulevard Bites

by Tracey Rolandelli

### Bret Harte Middle School, at 3700 Coolidge Ave., has brightened up the neighborhood tremendously with new paint for their campus. The warm colors complement the art deco style architecture facing MacArthur Blvd., and the school has been keeping graffiti at bay with quick removal. This is all part of a "modernization" project that should be completed in December, thanks to local Bond Measure B.

J & P Organics from Salinas at Oakland Food Connectionís Farmersí Market in the Laurel. Juan Perez, co-owner, and Wendy Fernandez. Photo by Sheila DíAmico.

### Eden Custom Framing has been in its new location (2815 MacArthur Blvd.) since July 1, with much more room at the new store. Eden is a father-son business, owned by son John Kim. John's father, Phillip Kim, also works there. They have a nice assortment of frames, which were mostly hidden from street view in their old location. They are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day, except Sundays.

### We have our own Farmers' Market starting up at 4173 MacArthur Blvd., in the parking lot, every Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. This market is the brainchild of Oakland Food Connection, a fantastic resource for food education and "food justice," bringing the reality of good, wholesome, natural food to lower income areas. Many of the neighborhoods they reach have few fresh food choices, with an overabundance of liquor stores and fast food restaurants. This group has taught high school kids how to develop rooftop gardens, turning vacant spaces into lush gardens of produce. On their Web site,, you can see videos of these projects, done at Oakland Unity High School, and E.C. Reems Academy. Jason A. Harvey, who founded the group in 2005, told me a large backyard garden at 65th and Outlook has been donated to Oakland Food Connection to grow food for the mission. Oakland Food Connection (OFC) has also had Sunday Dinner Gatherings in the past, where the public was invited to dinner with OFC at their office, for a home-cooked meal. The group works with local family farmers, who have five acres or less, by networking them into the farmers' market and the box delivery of produce they have organized.

Oakland Food Connection's mission is to "connect and support the quality of life among Oakland's low-income residents by providing nutrition education and creating access to local foods produced from sustainable practices, from seed to table." With many programs in the mix, such as a Youth Holistic Culinary Program (ages 14-18), check in with this group to see what is new, as the organization is growing quickly. Their phone number is 482-1898, and people can fill out information forms on their Web site mentioned above, or email Jason Harvey at jharvey\ Volunteers are needed.