Increasing wellness and building community through equitable access to healthy food and gardens
About City Slicker Farms
City Slicker Farms began with a mission to co-power West Oakland community members to meet the basic need for fresh, healthy food by creating sustainable, high-yield urban farms and backyard gardens. Since its founding in 2001, City Slicker Farms has been at the forefront of the 21st-century sustainable urban farming and food justice movement, gaining national recognition as a leader in supporting low-income communities of color to grow food in the city. In the last 20 years, we have built over 400 backyard and community gardens, produced 300,000 pounds of nutrient rich food, and trained thousands of community members in organic gardening methods and environmental stewardship.
Backyard Gardens Program: Building & Growing Together
Through our Backyard Gardens Program, we build raised beds and provide free materials and supplies for members to grow their own food. To support their success, garden members get two years of direct mentorship and a lifetime supply of compost, seeds, and starts.
West Oakland Urban Farm: A Community Effort
The West Oakland Urban Farm and Park is 1.4 acre working urban farm, educational space, and outdoor recreation site located at 2847 Peralta St. in Oakland, CA. It was created and conceived by and for the 3,000 community members in the surrounding neighborhoods, and intended to be a focal point of community pride and activity for residents of West Oakland. It is a safe space for recreation and connects neighbors over the growing, preparing and sharing of food; promotes environmental conservation, serves as an example of how we can reclaim the ecological integrity of the land; and expand access to healthy foods for low income families in Oakland.
The Farm Park includes a number of features to increase environmental sustainability: drip irrigation, rainwater catchment, recycled and reused construction materials, native plants, organic cultivation methods, habitat for pollinators, growing food locally, environmental education programs, recycling and composting receptacles, and extensive plantings of trees.
Farm to Fridge Food Sharing: Healthy Food is a Human Right
City Slicker Farms is part of the Town Fridge collective, a network of refrigerators across Oakland that provide free food to anyone who needs it. The collective actions is rooted in the tradition of mutual aid, which emphasizes people helping people without hierarchy or shame. Mutual aid projects have proliferated in the wake of COVID-19 as the need for community members caring for each other has grown.
City Slicker Farms’ work is rooted in food justice, and at the West Oakland Farm Park we grow thousands of pounds of food each year in order to increase healthy food access to the community. We’re able to stock the fridge with fresh produce we’ve grown, as well as contribute space and electricity for the fridge at the Farm Park. As always, first priority goes to unhoused, low- and fixed-income and BIPOC community members, as well as members of our Garden Program. However, any community members may drop off food and any community members may pick up food.
Food and Farming Skill Sharing: Honoring All Knowledge & Skills
We lead community workshops and skill shares as well as host other organizations, leaders and teachers to share knowledge about sustainable farming techniques and culinary skills. We honor and celebrate the different types of knowledge, skills and abilities within our community and this program reflects the diversity traditions and abilities.