Congrats to City Slicker Farms!
“The West Oakland Urban Farm and Park marks a new high point in our twelve-year journey to empower West Oakland residents to grow, harvest, and eat fresh, healthy food where they live,” said Barbara Finnin, City Slicker Farms’ Executive Director. “Our goal is to work with the community, together with our supporters and funders to create a new space where residents can cultivate both nourishing food and a shared communal space for play and enjoyment.”
At 1.4 acres, the West Oakland Farm and Park will be City Slicker Farms’ largest site, and will greatly increase City Slicker Farms’ ability to grow and distribute food. The space, which was designed after a three-month long process that included community dialogues and input, will also serve as a beautiful, lush green space for West Oakland residents and their families to recreate, play, and gather.
The urban farm and park will be the largest, and only self-owned, of City Slicker Farms’ Community Market Farms. “We are thrilled to finally have land security for a farm and park that community members can use and enjoy it in perpetuity,” said Finnin. Kelly Saturno, former City Slicker Farms Board Chair and current committee member for the project, agrees. “Land security in urban agriculture is important since other urban farming projects that did not control their land have been jeopardized or even shut down as in the case of LA’s South Central Farm,” said Saturno.
City Slicker Farms currently operates five Community Market Farms—food production gardens that are open to the public where produce is harvested and distributed weekly to Wes Oakland residents on a sliding scale. Nearly 30% of customers receive food for free, and 95% of all of the farms’ customers live on low to extremely low incomes. City Slicker Farms’ current production is being outpaced by demand, which makes developing the West Oakland Urban Farm and Park a ripe opportunity to address continually emerging needs.