"Oakland recently made it easier for urban farmers and gardeners to start new projects. On November 18, 2014 the City Council unanimously approved changes to the city planning code that clarifies what types of urban agriculture are allowed in each part of the city and expanded the areas where residents can cultivate crops and produce honey without the requirement of attaining a special permit.
The major changes include:
Allowing community gardens to operate, “by right” (without a special permit), on private land in most zones of the city as long as the gardens do not include animal husbandry other than bee hives. Community gardens are defined as locations where the food grown on site is for personal consumption or donation. Home gardens are covered by separate regulations, not considered community gardens and not affected by the new ordinance.
Replacing the old “crop and animal raising” activity classification with two new categories of use. The first new category is “Limited Agriculture” which encompasses the growing of crops for sale and keeping up to three beehives. Limited agriculture is now permitted, by right, in many parts of the city so long as the site is less one acre in size. In most cases, people growing food on these sites will be able to sell their produce without having to apply for a special permit.
The second new category is “Extensive Agriculture” which can include animal husbandry, operations that involve heavy machinery and any type of agricultural activity that does not fall within the definition of limited agriculture. Extensive agriculture is permitted in many zones of the city, but only by a conditional use permit."
Learn more: blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/20...
Growing and selling your own kale and green tomatoes in Oakland may get a lot easier in the next few months. Next week the Oakland City Council will have a final vote on amendments to its agricultural zoning policy that will remove costly barriers to starting an urban farm.
"Mandela MarketPlace understands that community members hold the key to positive change. By lifting up a culture of community ownership, Mandela is increasing access to healthy food and sustainable business opportunities."
By lifting up a culture of community ownership that transcends racial and classist histories, Mandela is increasing access to healthy food and sustainable business opportunities.
We need your help to bring healthy food & living-wage jobs to one of the most disenfranchised communities in the U.S. www.kickstarter.com/projects/1...
An urban food production hub that creates access to living-wage careers and nutritious, affordable food in deep East Oakland.
Great news, but it sounds like there will need to be some movement to get Oakland to opt-in.
"The law just provides the framework for individual cities and counties to offer the tax breaks to their citizens. Ting says the next step is for community members to push their local governments to opt-in.
Community members like Barbara Finnin of City Slicker Farms in West Oakland plans to do just that. She says she’s ready to talk to her councilmembers to make sure that Oakland is one of the cities that takes advantage of the law."
Does anyone know Barbara? Let's reach out and help.
Property owners get a tax break when land is used to grow food for the community.
Great TED talk from Rin Finley.
"See, I'm an artist. Gardening is my graffiti. I grow my art. Just like a graffiti artist, where they beautify walls, me, I beautiful lawns, parkways. I use the garden, the soil, like it's a piece of cloth, and the plants and the trees, that's my embellishment for that cloth. You'd be surprised what the soil could do if you let it be your canvas. You just couldn't imagine how amazing a sunflower is and how it affects people.
So what happened? I have witnessed my garden become a tool for the education, a tool for the transformation of my neighborhood. To change the community, you have to change the composition of the soil. We are the soil. You'd be surprised how kids are affected by this. Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can do, especially in the inner city. Plus you get strawberries."
Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA -- in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where "the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys."
Here's some information on City Slicker farms in West Oakland -
"City Slicker Farms consists of seven Community Market Farms (spaces open to the public), over 100 Backyard Gardens, a weekly Farm Stand, a greenhouse, and Urban Farming Education programs. City Slicker Farms also has a Policy Advocacy Initiative, using its experience to promote sustainable food systems and a green economy on a regional and statewide basis. Together these activities preserve and reimagine green space in the inner-city for food production, engage residents in environmental education, and serve as a model for urban green growth."