Urban Farms Flourish in Oakland

In industrial West Oakland, backyard farming is flourishing, with more than 80 farms sprouting up with organic produce and a local bent.
August 27, 2008, 6am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"Since the end of World War II, the west side of this city has struggled to break away from its industrial roots. Sandwiched between the city's downtown corridor and the busy Port of Oakland, West Oakland is overwrought with old railways and abandoned warehouses. Not one supermarket can be found in the eight-square-mile area, and 60% of the neighborhood's 20,000 residents live below the poverty line.
Since 2001, more than 80 urban farms have been quietly cultivated in Oakland, Calif., amid dilapidated buildings, railways and trucking depots.

Yet, amidst the snaking freeways and dilapidated buildings, a bit of green is growing. Since 2001, more than 80 urban farms have been cultivated in the backyards and vacant lots of West Oakland. Produce from zucchini to watermelon is grown for consumption by local residents; goats and chickens are raised on some farms. Last year, more than 10,000 pounds of produce was harvested, according to Oakland's City Slicker Farms, which is at the epicenter of the neighborhood's urban-farm push."

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Published on Tuesday, August 26, 2008 in Wall St. Journal
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