Alameda’s garden soil may be tops for cultivating and planting in, but it does have a significant drawback: it harbors oak root fungus Armillaria mellea. Do not confuse this with “sudden oak death” Phytopthora ramorum.
Armillaria is a serious forest pathogen common throughout California, having evolved to live where native oaks have grown. It is a long-lived, parasitic fungus that survives off dead root material, eventually killing a susceptible host. It does not affect oaks unless they are already stressed by disease or overly-watered lawns underneath the canopy.
Alameda Realtors braved the elements, including 20-mile-per-hour winds, to celebrate Earth Day by removing debris from a stretch of the Island’s shoreline. The Bay East Alameda Chapter clean-up squad included about a dozen Realtors, affiliate members and friends and family. The group focused on a section of Alameda shoreline adjacent to the Encinal boat ramp.
An expected 35 gardens and nurseries featuring plants native to California will be open this Sunday May 5, as part of the “Bringing Back the Natives” Garden Tour, including a few in Alameda. The self-guided tour will take visitors to gardens designed to be attractive, low maintenance, provide habitat for polinators, while also using less water.
Gardens on the tour include those designed by Alamedans: Robin and Neil Heyden, Jennifer Hurley and Dan Gaff, Natalie and Armand and Gretchen Pivonka. Fellow gardeners can learn tips along the way.
Freddie Mac’s April 4 Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed mortgage rates held steady this week after experiencing major drops last week. The survey reported that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate of 4.08 percent rose 2 basis points from the March 28 average of 4.06 percent. This time last year, the 30-year fixed averaged 4.40 percent.
The average 15-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at 3.56 percent on April 4, up 1 basis point from March 28, when it averaged 3.55 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year fixed averaged 3.87 percent.
At 1223 Post St. in Alameda’s East End, a humble Gold Rush-era cottage still stands. It once housed a Norwegian immigrant named Christopher Christensen and his family. Post Street residents Farrah Morin, Safia Pigott and Abby Hayton celebrated the 168th anniversary of the discovery of gold on Jan. 24, 1848, on the steps of this Gold Rush-era cottage. That cottage inspired the Culinary Academy of Post Street to learn about the East End’s Gold Rush heritage. We also sampled Gold Rush grub including one special item first served in 1849 that you can still enjoy today!