After reading Novella Carpenter’s book, Farm City, I was excited to visit one of the places she wrote about: City Slicker Farms, located in West Oakland.
Ms. Carpenter raves about this hip urban farm in the middle of the city, and I’d been reading about it other places as well, so I figured, when I saw that they were having a harvest festival, that I better get over there.
There were a ton of people in the garden, milling around, cooking bbq, playing African drums, selling produce and sitting along the sidewalk. I felt a little bit like an interloper, but I wasn’t the only curious outsider. A woman with a video camera (journalism graduate student) and some other students from Berkeley were also there. Somehow this little garden has become a larger concept that draws a lot of outside attention.
As far as I gather, the City Slicker Farms runs this demonstration site, as well as a greenhouse, a produce stand, an apprenticeship system, and a program to help people start their own backyard gardens.
The demonstration garden itself is packed into a tiny space with raised beds, grape vines, a vacant chicken coop (due to a recent raccoon assault), beehives, vertical grow-tubes (interesting), what might be a composting toilet, a dome-shaped shed, and lots of people.
City Slicker Farms lives up to the hype.
City Slicker Farms