Roots

City Slicker Farms

The large scale Oakland network that includes over 2,000 people known as City Slicker Farms began modestly in 2001 when a small group of neighbors in West Oakland decided to combat the lack of access to nutritious food by utilizing a vacant lot that Willow Rosenthal donated. The farm was initially ran primarily by volunteers who rewarded for their services with the produce they had cultivated. Excess fruits and vegetables were left for the community to take for free, which gathered more volunteers hoping to contribute. The operation grew and Willow Rosenthal became the director . The concept of appropriating previously vacant lots to grow food for communities that are saturated with crime and poverty is not only practical it also provides food security, a sense of accomplishment, builds community, strengthens practical skills, and gives residents knowledge about food production that is often completely disconnected within inner cities. City Slicker Farms hopes to empower West Oakland through other Urban Farms, backyard gardens, and community education programs. Now the food that the farms provide is sold at farm stands on a sliding scale basis, which means that nobody is turned away for lack of funds. The farm stand, which is for West Oaklanders, is located at Fitzgerald and Union Plaza Parks and is open on Saturdays at 10 a.m. until the produce is sold out. In 2013 City Slicker Farms was providing over 9,000 pounds of produce a year for the West Oakland Community. The fruits and vegetables are an immediate answer to the lack of access to healthy foods in West Oakland and the education and skills will provide long term benefits for Oakland. ‘Jones-Taylor wrapped it up simply. "Really, they're allowing people to feed themselves and their families. It doesn't get any richer and better than that."’

Street Address:

Fitzgerald and Union Plaza Parks
Corner of 34th & Peralta Streets
[map]

Cite this Page:

Augusta Hohn, “Roots ,” Street Stories: Oakland, accessed December 14, 2017, http://streetstoriesoakland.com/items/show/5.

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