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.
One of the great things about the City Slicker Farms Backyard Garden program is that West Oakland families and community groups get to grow food right in their own backyards. But what about those who don't have a yard and still want to grow food?
Black Lives Matter. Always.
We recently posted a photo on City Slicker Farms' Instagram featuring the Black Lives Matter sign a student in our community made for us that hangs at our greenhouse. That day we received an uncharacteristic number of unfollows.
Instagram is a visual medium, and we're honored that so many folks appreciate the images of nourishment, beauty and healing we post. Our work to achieve food justice is rooted in West Oakland, a community that experiences the daily violence of poverty, racism, police brutality, eviction and displacement. The nourishment, beauty and healing we share here are a reflection of and in the service to the communities we stand with -- communities that are rising up in power to demand liberation and social change. Black Lives Matter, whether we are confronting police brutality or an unjust food system.
Would you like to join a community garden?
In February 2016, City Slicker Farms will open the West Oakland Urban Farm and Park at 2847 Peralta Street in West Oakland. One of the features of the farm-park will be a 28-plot community garden, which will be a place for people to grow their own nutritious food, flowers, and herbs; get exercise; learn together; and find the peace and joy that come with connecting with nature and neighbors.
When I started as Interim Executive Director of City Slicker Farms in July 2014, I made a promise to the Board of Directors: we would open the West Oakland Urban Farm and Park on my watch, so that the next permanent Executive Director of the organization could come into leadership without the pressure and distraction of a major construction project and capital campaign.
Well, my friends, we are almost there.
One of the most exciting parts about opening the West Oakland Urban Farm and Park will be the partnerships that come to life there; with an outdoor classroom, an educational kitchen, and plenty of public event space, the Farm Park will be a place for community groups to gather and learn.
But the partnerships aren’t only starting at opening weekend — the construction process itself has been an opportunity for collaboration across organizations. One such partnership our staff has been thrilled about is with our friends at Planting Justice. Planting Justice’s Transform Your Yard (TYY) program builds edible landscapes, sending in a team of experienced permaculture designers and landscapers, many of whom were formerly incarcerated.
At a recent visit to one of our preschool garden sites, City Slicker Farms’ Childcare Garden coordinator Sarah Karlson stood amidst a group of four- and five-year-olds holding a piece of kale.
“Who can tell me what this is?” she asked. “Salad!” the kids yelled with excitement and recognition. “Yes, this is kale–we like to eat kale in salads!”
"I've been barbecuing all my life," said Ron Cain as he perused collards at a recent Saturday farm stand at Union Plaza Park, "but the business I've been doing 11 years."
Ron is a neighbor of our largest Community Market Farm and owner of Ron's Pit Stop, a barbecue business at 25th and Valencia in San Francisco. As an experienced cook, he loves to peruse the many varieties of greens at our weekly farm stand. He has a recipe that uses four types of greens and one special ingredient: smoked turkey butt.
Every winter, City Slicker Farms welcomes the rainy season, plans for the coming year, plants cover crops, makes repairs, and evaluates how to improve our programs, and this winter we're also finishing the build-out of the new West Oakland Urban Farm and Park. In order to make time for this important work, we have modified schedules for our sites and limited volunteer opportunities in December and January.
We're just a few short months from opening the West Oakland Urban Farm and Park, and things are really ramping up at the site!
Do you want to be a part of this exciting project?
Join us on November 14 and 15 for special community farm workdays!
Oakland residents now have a new tool to help navigate the rules and regulations around growing and selling produce in the city. The Oakland Food Policy Council (OFPC) and City Slicker Farms have released “Cultivating Resistance: An Urban Agriculture Toolkit to Support Oakland’s Independent Food System”, a free booklet that guides residents through the policies that currently govern urban agriculture practices.
You can download the free PDF here.
“City Slicker Farms has been growing and selling food in Oakland for over 14 years, and we wanted to empower other farmers in the city to do the same,” said Ariel Dekovic, Interim Executive Director of City Slicker Farms. “We work with so many knowledgeable, successful farmers and gardeners, who are growing at their own homes, and this toolkit will help them to more easily navigate the laws and regulations that affect them.”
Recent blog posts
- New Room to Grow for 28 Families
- Black Lives Matter and an Unjust Food System
- Join Our Community Garden!
- Why Interim is Not Forever: Our Search for Our Next Executive Director
- Partnering with Planting Justice to Build Sustainable Food Systems
- Growing Green Thumbs (and Fans of Veggie Stir Fry!)
- Talking BBQ with Farmstand Customer Ron Cain
- Seasonal Changes to Our Program Schedule
- Join us for community workdays at the Farm Park!
- One Person's Dirt Pile is Another Person's Garden Bed: The Farm Park Takes Shape