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City Slicker Farms
1625 16th Street
Oakland, CA 94607


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We're excited to be growing out Dirty Girl tomatoes from seeds our friend Elyse Rainey at Ecology Center sourced for us! Dirty Girls are a variety of early, red, delicious, dry-farmable tomatoes developed by a Santa Cruz farmer as an alternative to Monsanto's "Early Girl" tomatoes, which are popular in the Bay Area because of their intense flavor and ability to grow without irrigation.

Dirty Girl tomatoes seeded at Ralph Bunche Nursery and planted at Union Plaza Park

Sturdy new raised bed for Backyard Gardeners

Garden Program Manager Alison Fischman leads staff in a training on the new box design

In addition to their initial garden build--which includes two boxes, trellises, and a fruit tree--participants in our Backyard Garden Program receive additional services as needed: gopher proofing, additional planter boxes if they desire more growing space, fruit tree pruning, and oftentimes a rebuild. Our raised beds last years for most Backyard Gardeners, but eventually they do rot out. When that happens, Garden Program Manager Alison Fischman brings a crew to completely rebuild the beds--a big task, and one she wanted to do less frequently.

Alison has dreamed of redesigning the raised beds for years, and this month, with the help of other staff and volunteers, her dream became reality. With input from rockstar volunteers Matt Wolpe and Chad Mills, Alison engineered the new box design, which features bolts instead of screws and 4”x4” posts at all of the corners. She installed the first new boxes at Friendship Christian Center’s Backyard Garden build on April 10 with great success. Here’s to a future with fewer rebuilds!

New Normal Two Art Gallery Event

New Normal Two

Join us for an evening of great art, great company, and support for urban agriculture in West Oakland!

Our partner, New Normal Brewing, will be hosting an event on Friday, April 24th to build community support for local artists and local agriculture.

CSF Staff Head to EcoFarm Conference

Farm Assistant Joseph Davis and Program Assistant Katherine Yagle received scholarships to attend the 2015 EcoFarm Conference, an annual conference in Pacific Grove focused on cultivating sustainable food systems. Joseph checked out a few workshops that got him thinking about possibilities for the new West Oakland Farm and Park--one called “Make Your Farm Energy Self-Sufficient,” where he learned about incentives for using alternative energies on the farm, and one called “Biodynamic Beekeeping,” which gave him plenty of ideas for the bees that will live at the Farm Park.

Erica Marcus' lemons at the first farmstand of 2015

Backyard Gardener Erica Marcus donated lemons from her tree to our first farmstand of 2015 on Saturday. We asked her to share some of her favorite lemon recipes with us.

When I moved to West Oakland, I fell in love with my house because of the incredible lemon tree in my backyard. It loves my backyard and for the last twelve plus years, it has provided thousands of lemons to me and my neighbors. For the last year and a half, whenever possible, I bring a bucket of lemons to City Slicker Farms Saturday Farm Stand. 


The Alameda County Early Care & Education Planning Council recently released a video documenting the importance of green education in child care programs. The video features a garden City Slicker Farms built with Unity Council - De Colores Head Start.

Backyard Gardeners Build Pruning Skills

Farm Assistant Joesph Davis, Mentor Maggie Philipsborn, and Backyard Gardener Janice Sellers prune Janice's quince and plum trees

This winter, in an effort to keep Backyard Gardeners’ fruit trees healthy and share pruning skills, City Slicker Farms’ staff and mentors are embarking on a first-ever fruit tree pruning project, heading out into backyards across West Oakland. Although CSF has traditionally offered some winter assistance to Backyard Gardeners, such as pruning and dormant spraying, Backyard Garden Program Coordinator, Alison Fischman, found that it was not meeting Backyard Gardeners’ needs. 

Shavers Family Backyard Garden Build

West Oakland renters applying for a Backyard Garden got a boost this year thanks to the Neighborhood Food Act. The new law makes it illegal for landlords to prohibit their tenants from growing edible fruits and vegetables for their own consumption. Backyard Garden Program Coordinator Alison Fischman said the new law will be a positive change for the City Slicker Farms community. 

Last Day to Double Your Impact!


Today is the day we say goodbye to 2014 and welcome in a new year!  At City Slicker Farms, we’re proud to be celebrating all of the accomplishments we made over the past four growing seasons, and all of the relationships we’ve built with our donors, program participants, allies, and volunteers.