Urban Agriculture Program Gets Boost in Oakland

A small-scale urban agriculture project in Oakland, California is set to receive a $4 million grant to expand its work.
November 14, 2010, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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Known as City Slicker Farms, the group has installed urban gardens, farmers markets and agriculture sites throughout the city.

"City Slicker got its start in 2001 on a parcel of borrowed vacant land in the "food desert" of impoverished West Oakland (see Grist's food-justice story), where 32 percent of residents live below the poverty level and mortality rates for diabetes and heart disease are well above the county rate. They soon started a "pay what you can" farm stand, and then a program to help residents grow their own food in their back yards. Today, City Slicker Farms operates seven Community Market Farms, more than 100 backyard gardens, a greenhouse, and Urban Farming Education programs. It grows 20,000 pounds of food annually.

And soon, with state money, City Slicker will be purchasing a 1.4-acre parcel in West Oakland, the vacant, fenced-off former site of a paint factory that has undergone a thorough brownfield cleanup."

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Published on Friday, November 12, 2010 in Grist
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