Saturday, July 24, 2010

Urban Farming in Oakland: City Slickers Fundraiser features Novella Carpenter

Don't call it socialism, anymore...: Call it Survival.



43 percent of ADM’s annual profits are from products heavily subsidized or protected by the American government.


It must be noted that the food industry outspends the federal government when it comes to influencing food choices.


Patel says,


"The opposite of choice is not coercion, it is instinct."44


As the great pioneer of public relations and modern advertising Edward L. Bernays observed, “somebody interested in leading the crowd needs to appeal not to logic but to unconscious motivation.”45


"Arise, ye prisoners of starvation"

Human beings currently exist in conflict and out of sync with nature because capitalism sees nature as a means to an end: profit. Humans, however, are a part of the natural world, not its masters or antagonists.


[ISR Issue 70, March/April 2010]

I figure, with interest, we're lookin' at 55 acres...; who stole my cheese?

Sunday, July 18, 2010
Urban farming is fast catching on as an alternative to shopping in overpriced food stores and worrying about how to feed a family on a challenged budget in a bad economy. Oakland, California has become the San Francisco East Bay Area's center of the urban farming movement. All of this was evident at the City Slickers June fundraiser held at St. Paul's Church near Lake Merritt.
City Slickers' Mission

City Slickers describes its mission as "to empower West Oakland community members to meet the basic need for healthy organic food for themselves and their families." In this, it combines seven farms to provide "affordable fresh produce" to the people of West Oakland. That's something long overdue in West Oakland, a part of Oakland historically blighted with supermarkets featuring overpriced, canned goods, and little in the way of fresh produce, all because supermarket execs said they "couldn't afford" to do better without a subsidy by the City of Oakland.

How do I know this? Because solving that problem was one of my tasks when I worked as the Economic Advisor to Elihu Harris when he was Oakland's Mayor and from 1995 to 1998. It was sad to see so many supermarket chains out to extort the City of Oakland just to be convinced to provide the proper kind of food product for West Oaklanders.

What Is Urban Farming

Urban Farming is nothing more or less than establishing a plot to grow vegetables and raise animals for food in your backyard, but it's in an urban area. According to Willow Rosenthal and Novella Carpenter, the habit goes back 100 years, but the reason its become "hot" now, in the 21st Century, is a combination of awareness of the unhealthy results of fast food consumption, and the economy itself. It's cheaper to grow, make, and cook food, than to spend a $100 per grocery store visit.
Why Oakland?

Novella's West Oakland farm is successful mostly because in Oakland, people"let you do your thing;" a massive contrast to Berkeley, where that city's famously neurotic residents remind you of the permits you need for urban farming.  Oakland's combination of weather, acceptance, and diversity was the perfect stew for Novella's work.
Get involved with City Slicker Farms

If we're to make Oakland that "better place" Oaklanders talk about, helping City Slicker Farms by volunteering or donating is a great start. City Slicker Farms is looking for a Program Assistant and a Development Manager as of this writing and someone who's serious about what they do, which is developing a needed alternative to access to food that should become the norm. Visit the website at .

And stay tuned.

Posted by
Zennie Abraham

8:12 PM

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