By Food Justice Allies Pia Greig and Sarah Holle
With a deep background in the culinary arts, West Oakland resident Edith Finch was excited to create her own ‘garden to table’ experience when she first heard about City Slicker Farms' Backyard Garden Program. Prior to receiving their garden beds, Edith and her husband Bruce didn't have much experience in growing their own food, but they were eager to learn after a friend told them about the program. Now, nearly five years later, their garden is flourishing!
Over the last six months, low-income senior residences in Alameda and San Francisco Counties have become home to new community garden spaces. These community group gardens are places of activity and health for the senior residents and program participants.
In partnerships with the Area Agency on Aging, Alameda County Public Health Department, Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, and San Francisco Department of Public Health, City Slicker Farms has been able to build eight new community gardens across both counties.
The goal of these gardens is to increase senior citizens' access to healthy food, while providing gentle exercise and helping keep participants active and independent for as long as possible.
Are you ready to help us turn the West Oakland Farm and Park from a vision into reality -- and get some awesome rewards in return? We've launched a crowdfunding campaign on Barnraiser and we need the support of the entire City Slicker Farms community! We've already purchased the land with a state grant and now we need to raise $25,000 to start construction. With your help, we'll build a community garden, a fruit tree orchard, a greenhouse, and educational spaces including a nutrition demo area and beehives.
On April 17, Backyard Gardeners and Mentors attended a unique City Slicker Farms field trip: a tour of Soul Flower Farm in El Sobrante. Backyard Gardener Njelela Kwamilele, who is a fan of Soul Flower Farm, suggested the trip to Garden Program Manager Alison Fischman, and the two worked together to organize it.
UPDATE: The gate is done!! Check out the finished product:
We're getting pretty excited about the West Oakland Urban Farm and Park as we prepare to begin construction in a few months, and one thing that has truly made the vision of the park come to life is seeing the entrance gate that youth apprentices at the Crucible have been forging.
INVITATION FOR BIDS
City Slicker Farms will receive bids submitted for:
WEST OAKLAND FARM AND PARK PROJECT
at 2847 Peralta Street, Oakland, CA
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.
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!
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.