Urban Agriculture Program Gets Boost in Oakland
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."