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.
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.
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.”
Anyone who has been by the construction site of our West Oakland Urban Farm and Park lately has seen some big changes. Our future new home sits across from CASS Recycling on Peralta Avenue, and since we acquired the land in late 2013, has mostly been sitting vacant, waiting for this project. The field of weeds memorialized in this Fall's Edible East Bay magazine photo spread has disappeared -- supplanted by thousands of yards of clean dirt, trucked in to replace the dirt that was removed during the original remediation of the site. The line of trees at the back of the site have been removed so that we can plant a food forest orchard on the northwestern part of the farm.
By Food Justice Ally Sarah Holle
On a sunny June morning this summer, a crew of City Slicker Farms staff, allies, and volunteers gathered to help Mildred Williams build a backyard garden at her apartment complex. Mildred couldn’t be more excited to reconnect with her southern agricultural roots and hopes that the garden will also teach her family how to connect with the earth.
Born in Baton Rouge, in what was then considered the countryside of Louisiana, Mildred helped her mother and uncle on the farm growing crops like strawberries, corn, and cotton. This was where she was introduced to farming and growing.
With sadness we say goodbye to Paul Hudson, a beloved West Oakland neighbor and City Slicker Farms community member. Paul helped establish the original Center Street Farm and has been involved in many ways over the years. Always a friendly and caring person, he is dearly missed.
Wow! On August 20, over 250 volunteers came out to the West Oakland Urban Farm and Park and built an entire playground in a single day. We were blown away by the showing of support and don't know what to say other than: thank you! We are so proud to be part of this amazing community.
Recent blog posts
- 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
- 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
- Reconnecting to a Lifetime of Food: Meet Backyard Gardener Mildred Williams
- In Memory of Paul Hudson, 1964-2015
- KaBOOM! and it's done: you built a playground!
- Eat Your Green . . . Smoothies: Inspiring Healthy Eating Through Nutrition Demos