Since 2001, City Slicker Farms has been partnering with the West Oakland community to grow and distribute thousands of pounds of fresh, healthy produce.
Learn how you can support a just and sustainable food system in West Oakland.
By Food Justice Ally Julia Irwin
At the West Oakland Farm Park, the spindly young California sagebrush plants are easy to miss. They look like several thin twigs stuck into the ground now, but if all goes well, one day they will be sturdy, drought-tolerant bushes as tall as a grown person – and useful to boot.
“They attract native wildlife, particularly insects,” said Farm Manager Joseph Davis. “That’s good for pollination, for predation. For example, parasitic wasps will attack aphids and other pests. They will really help us with pest management.”
By Andre Solis-Flores, UC Berkeley Alternative Breaks group leader
I first got involved with City Slicker Farms through the UC Berkeley Alternative Breaks Program, a program for students to explore social issues through meaningful service, education, and reflection during their academic breaks. During the 2014-2015 academic year, I was drawn to participate in Alternative Breaks because of the service-learning opportunity it offered to students. I have always been passionate about social justice and wanted to continue learning about different social justice issues. Most importantly, I wanted to learn about my role in social justice movements and the different ways I could engage in critical service. I didn't know a lot about critical service-learning until I was exposed to it through Alternative Breaks. I remember constantly challenging my assumptions about the root causes of social justice issues as a student in of a student-led seminar. I remember intentionally reflecting about the different issues during, after, and before the seminars. I had never stopped to critically think about the 'injustice systems' that maintain social disparities; and as my critical consciousness grew, I became more passionate about becoming a part of movements of resistance.
Last month, we said goodbye to our beloved Childcare Garden Coordinator, Sarah Karlson, who's moving to Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three kids.
Sarah has been on staff since 2007 -- the longest of anyone at City Slicker Farms. She created the Childcare Garden Program and grew it from a small pilot to one of City Slicker Farms' most impactful programs; through her leadership, City Slicker Farms has built more than 70 childcare gardens that provide food and unique learning opportunities for over 2,000 children.
Grand Opening weekend is here! City Slicker Farms is hosting a community party on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12 to mark the opening of a brand new urban farm and public park: the West Oakland Farm Park. Join us for a celebration of healthy food, urban nature, community health, nutrition, and resilience.
The event is from 11AM-5PM on Saturday, June 11 and from 10AM-5PM on Sunday, June 12. Festivities will take place at the West Oakland Farm Park, located at 2847 Peralta St. Oakland, CA 94608.
Sunday's schedule will feature a variety of workshops and recreation classes. For more complete workshop descriptions, please visit: http://www.cityslickerfarms.org/sunday-farm-park
RSVP to let us know you're coming!
As you probably know, we're two weeks away from opening the West Oakland Farm Park, a permanent piece of farmland and public green space for Oakland.
The Grand Opening on Saturday, June 11th and Sunday, June 12th is going to be an awesome volunteer-powered event featuring a free locally-sourced meal, live music and entertainment, family-friendly activities, a community fair, tours of the site, and a full day of workshops and classes.
We've already received over 350 RSVPs for the weekend, which means we're going to need lots of helping hands! You can help make this event a memorable one by signing up to volunteer here.
We need volunteers for morning, afternoon, and evening shifts on both Saturday and Sunday. And don't worry -- shifts are no longer than five hours, so you'll still have plenty of time to enjoy the festivities!
Join us in welcoming Rodney Spencer, our new Executive Director - a letter from the Board of Directors
The board of directors of City Slicker Farms are thrilled to introduce Rodney Spencer as the new Executive Director of City Slicker Farms.
You may already know Rodney. He has been a frequent volunteer at both Union Plaza Community Market Farm and the Ralph Bunche Nursery. And if you do know him, you know that he is a warm and generous community leader. Rodney comes to us from our neighbor Vincent Academy, a West Oakland charter school, where he was on the founding team and served most recently as the Director of Extended Learning.
What's a meal that reminds you of home and why?
What food do you most associate with your family or community and why?
Who taught you how to cook?
What are your food rituals?
The opening of the Farm Park will be a celebration of healthy food, community, and West Oakland's history -- what better time to capture the stories and food traditions of community members? We're partnering with StoryCorps to host a booth for recording stories.
With StoryCorps, two participants are invited to have a 40 minute recorded conversation about anything they would like, in any language that they would like. Afterwards, participants will have the option to archive their story with City Slicker Farms, the Library of Congress for future generations to find, and to decide whether or not they would like share their recording with StoryCorps for potential future use. No matter your preference, participants will receive a CD copy of their recording that is theirs to keep and share however they wish.
If you have a friend or family member who you'd like to bring for a recorded conversation about your food story, please fill out this form to request a session.
Every May, thousands of Oaklanders ditch their cars and hop on their bikes as part of Bike East Bay's Bike to Work Day. This year, to celebrate the upcoming Grand Opening, City Slicker Farms hosted an energizer station at the West Oakland Farm Park and handed out Bike to Work Day bags, Clif Bars, tea, and coffee to bike commuters on Peralta Street. The cherry on top? Bike East Bay featured us in the Bike to Work Day guide published in the East Bay Express -- check out the article below!
For 15 years, City Slicker Farms has been working to empower West Oakland resident to meet their needs for healthy, fresh food by promoting farming in reclaimed backyard space and unused plots. “At the heart of it is supporting underserved communities – low-income adults, children, seniors and people in transitional housing – so that they can get healthy food,” says Samaki Dorsey, Community Partnerships Coordinator. This year, they’re hosting a new Energizer Station in West Oakland Bikes play an important role in City Slicker Farms’ work. Staff, volunteers and kids in the “Youth Crew” summer program use a bike trailer to haul harvested vegetables. “The kids learn that bikes are a way to get around and do work,” says Samaki. “It teaches them independence from cars. They don’t need to rely on someone to give them a ride somewhere.” City Slicker Farms is taking a big step forward this year by opening the West Oakland Farm Park, a farm and community space on Peralta Street near 28th Street. It will include a community garden, a demonstration nutrition area, beekeeping space, a playground, and plenty of space for community groups to visit and host events. Samaki describes it as “more than a park; it’s an activated space for everyone to enjoy.” They’re working with the City of Oakland to install a bike corral on Peralta Street to encourage folks to arrive by bike.
Get ready for this year's Oakland Earth Day, a celebration to clean up sites across our city on Saturday, April 23. We'll be hosting a workday at the West Oakland Farm Park, cleaning up and planting seedlings around the farm. This year we're proud to partner with Friendship Christian Center, one of our all-star backyard garden sites. Join us:
Earth Day at the West Oakland Farm Park
Hosted by City Slicker Farms and Friendship Christian Center
2847 Peralta St.
Oakland, CA 94608
Saturday, April 23, 2016
9am - 12pm
No need to RSVP, just show up to the Farm Park at 9 AM!
Last year, dozens of volunteers picked up litter, painted trash cans, and planted seedlings at Union Plaza Park. Across Oakland, about 3,400 volunteers pitched in more than 15,000 hours at 90 sites. Let's see if we can make Oakland Earth Day an even bigger success in 2016! Join us Saturday, April 23 at the West Oakland Farm Park.
Recent blog posts
- Why We're Planting California Natives at the Farm Park
- Engaging in Critical Service, Fighting for Food Justice
- We'll miss you, Sarah!
- The Grand Opening of the West Oakland Farm Park is Here!
- Volunteer at the Grand Opening of the West Oakland Farm Park
- Join us in welcoming Rodney Spencer, our new Executive Director - a letter from the Board of Directors
- StoryCorps at the West Oakland Farm Park
- Did you see us in the Bike to Work Day guide?
- #EastBayGives on May 3: Working Together to Build Healthier Communities
- Clean it, Green it, Mean it: Join us at the Farm Park for Oakland Earth Day!