One block from the Underground Yoga Parlour is an urban farm lot run by City Slicker Farms, which for the last ten years has made fresh organic produce available to the residents of West Oakland. In between the Parlour and Mandela foods, which is featured in this video, there is no place to buy fresh produce. The Parlour is at 32nd street and Mandela foods is at 7th…that’s an enormous stretch of land where residents find themselves lost in a food dessert. The People’s Grocery has therefor also spent the last decade providing fresh food to the community in order to fill the void that city officials would not.
The sunny climate of West Oakland is well suited to produce abundant food for it’s residents, however the soil is highly contaminated with lead and other environmental toxins. Lead is referred to as a “legacy pollutant” as it is no longer used in house paint or gasoline, still, it’s toxic effects remain. To counter this, many residents use raised beds to grow food. The Ranch in Dogtown, where the Parlour is located, is able to plant directly into the ground due to years of soil remediation. The garden is beautiful, bountiful and is the heart of our community, but it is private…
In honor of Occupy the Farm, where students/activists and urban farmers are occupying pristine agricultural land “owned” by the University of California at Berkeley to promote food sovereignty, I post this video. Last week at Occupy the Farm we had a discussion about Race & Class in Urban Agriculture and the question was raised, How to diversify the Farm in order to bring other communities already working in the food justice movement together? As well as, How to inspire those not already involved in urban agriculture to see the value and dignity of community, urban farming?
Please feel free to post your ideas?