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Arbor Day: An (Edible) Tree Grows in Piedmont

Ramen Shop co-founder and chef Jerry Jaksich will be a key speaker at this year's annual Arbor Day celebtration, which will focus on edible gardens.

Piedmont's annual Arbor Day celebration will have a fresh look this year, with a focus on edible gardens and ... noodles?

Among the key speakers will by Jerry Jaksich, chef and co-founder of he Ramen Shop, the critically acclaimed new restaurant at 5812 College Ave., Oakland, who will talk about slow food and slow cooking.

Also on the program — tours of the edible garden at Beach Elementary School, 100 Lake Ave., led by the school's student ambassadors.

The event will take place Monday, April 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Beach School (near the School Mates building), with a theme of "edible gardens." The public is invited.

Mayor John Chiang will open the program with an explanation of Piedmont's Arbor Day history, and representatives from Whole Foods will talk about "farm to market to table."

John Gibbs, the architect for the Beach School garden, and Park Commissioner Nancy Kent, the architect for the city's adjoining portion of the garden, will discuss edible landscapes. The formal program will conclude with the mayor and Beach School Principal Julie Valdez planting a tree. 

The garden tours will follow. Beach students have renovated the school portion of the garden, while the city has expanded it with the addition of three apple trees, as well as a lime and a Meyer lemon. Strawberries, blue berries, kiwi and and grape vines also have been added. The expanded portion of the garden is on city property adjoining the tot lot.

Refreshments for the event will be provided by Whole Foods, Twin Girl Farms and the Piedmont Park Commission.

Park Commissioners Kent, Patty Siskind and Jamie Totsubo worked on planning the event for the city. 

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