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.
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.
Join us on Saturday, March 5 from 10 am to 3 pm at the West Oakland Farm Park for an orchard planting day led by Common Vision, an organization dedicated to creating thriving, producing orchards to build a healthier and more just society.
We can take up to 90 volunteers, so please share with your family and friends!
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? We've found some pretty creative solutions over the years -- from raised beds on concrete patios to window container gardens to shared gardens between neighbors -- but when we purchased the site of the West Oakland Farm Park, we realized we had a unique opportunity to create a space not just for our staff to grow food, but for community members to grow their own as well, by building a community garden.
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.
Recent blog posts
- 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!
- Help Us Plant a Fruitful Future: Community Orchard Planting Workday March 5
- 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