URBAN FARM TOURS
2014 Sites ~ Berkeley, Oakland

X-SMALL
Lower Bottom Strange Grange, West Oakland
Snapshot:: Ducks, bees, aquaponics, rental property, creative use of small space
Hosts: Monica White & Brandon Crisler
Lot size: 2665 sf .....Farm Use: 800 sf .....Percentage: 30%
Come on down to wild West Oakland and see what the citizens of Lower Bottom are up to. This site is a testament to what can be done as a renter in a tiny space utilizing every edge and shady square foot of a small corner lot. Encroaching just slightly onto the sidewalk you will see a jungle of high density plantings in a beneath-fence raised bed, Muscovy ducks and an aquaponics system made from a scavenged clawfoot tub sandwiched in the alley between the houses and a potted herb garden that ascends the stairwell. The small front garden hosts a beehive, and shady strips on the North side of the house provide animal food forage (aka wild weeds) and mushroom habitat. Monica and Brandon utilize every inch of their small plot with edible landscaping and celebrate the life and diversity of their west Oakland neighborhood.
kansas st farm SMALL
Kansas Street Farm, East Oakland
Snapshiot: Rental property, extensive free-range chicken areas, rainwater catchment, vegetable garden
Host: Sheila Cassani
Instagram user: littlehouse_life or #kansasstfarm
Lot size: 2000sf (back cottage area) ......Farm Use: 1200 sf (600sf chicken area, 600sf edible landscaping) ......Percentage: 60%
Located at the border of Oakland's Dimond and Laurel districts, Kansas Street Farm offers an example of sustainable urban living while renting. Down a long driveway to a quaint 1920s cottage this hidden oasis aims to maximize available space for year-round food production. Mature fruit trees, a seasonal variety of veggies, fruiting vines, medicinal herbs, and pollinator friendly plants populate the garden. In addition, a growing flock of free-ranging hens provide an abundance of fresh eggs and play an integral role in an creating a more closed-loop system. Kansas Street Farmers, Sheila and Matthew, delight in reusing and repurposing found materials, experimenting with rainwater catchment, drip irrigation, and the art of fermentation.
obsidian farm SMALL-MEDIUM
Obsidian Farm, South Berkeley
Snapshot: Food forest, medicinal & culinary Herbs, perennial Carribean crops, greywater, chickens, vertical gardening
Host: Wanda Stewart Lot size: 3,200 sf Farm Use: 2,200 sf Percentage: 68%
Obsidian Farm exists to model, inspire, and support whole life transformation - in individuals and in community – through the act of gardening and the lens of African American culture and traditions. It is evidence of all that’s possible in a small, urban space, while knowing little to nothing about homesteading, permaculture and sustainability to start! This year-round garden is designed to grow food and medicine for family, friends and neighborhood consumers for now and in the days to come. With most of the edible landscaping planted in the front yard where the sun shines best, this land boasts 20 fruit trees and berry bushes, nearly 50 culinary and medicinal herbs, bountiful crops of perennial and annual vegetables, chickens, worms, and an excellent dog. Because much of our commitment is to teaching and growing through and across ethnicity and culture, you’ll find more than just collard greens growing. We’ve got perennial Caribbean favorites – callaloo, Jamaican red peas and “cho cho” (chayote) – thriving too in the happy, healthy little food forest sprouting on our corner!
MEDIUM
Permaculture Institute of the East Bay, South Berkeley
Snapshot: Permaculture, food forest, nursery, straw bale building, chickens, ducks, bees, mushrooms, compost production
Host: Christopher Shein
wildheartgardens.com

Lot size: 6800 sf Farm Use: 2500 sf Percentage: 36%
Started in 2007, PIE features a full chicken farm, ducks, food forest, perrenial vegetables, straw bale building, rainwater catchement, timber bamboo, plant nursery, vertical gardens, kids’ forts, an array of mushroom habitat and a massive composting system. This site generates an abundance of food, building materials and compost each year as well as offering a relaxing and diverse habitat for the humans who live here. 
Host Chris Shein is a premier Bay Area permaculturist. He runs the permaculture program at Merritt College and authored the book Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture. Don’t miss this stop if you are curious to know more about permaculture.
green faerie LARGE
Green Faerie Farm , Berkeley
Snapshot: Goats, rabbits, chickens, quail, bees, topsoil building, natural building, tropical fruits, fruit trees, integrated animal husbandry, small scale dairy
Host: Jim Montgomery Lot Size: 7800 sq ft Farm Use: 3600 sf (Garden 2400 sf Livestock 1200 sf ) Percentage: 64%
Established in 1995, Green Faerie Farm includes a large vegetable garden as well as many mature fruit trees, and a smattering of unusual tropical plants such as cactus nopales, kiwi and pineapple guava. At any given time the farm also boasts some 20 chickens, 30 rabbits, a couple of beehives, a handful of quail, 2‐5 Oberhasli dairy goats and their kids. Sustainability features include a greywater system and a milking parlor made entirely out of natural and scavenged materials. Over the past 20 years the addition of livestock manure and composted bedding has raised the level of the topsoil in the veggie garden nearly 3 feet. The animals eat plant matter passed over by the residents closing the nitrogen loop elegantly. . Host Jim Montgomery has been keeping animals for over 30 years and offers a wealth of information about their care and integration into a small scale urban farming operation for the health and bounty of all involved.
earthly arts LARGE
Earthly Arts Farm, South Berkeley
Snapshot: Fruit orchard, veggie garden, composting toilet (humanure), rainwater catchment, greywater re-use, creative re-use, aesthetic & drought tolerant landscaping
Host: Sequoiah Wachenheim
www.earthlyarts.com
Lot size: 10,600 sf...... Farm Use: 4,000 sf .......Percentage: 37%
Earthly Arts Farm is an oasis of beauty and conservation in the heart of South Berkeley. Farmer Sequoiah began 10 years ago by sheet mulching every square inch of lawn in the back yard. Next, she shaped irregular beds for the annual and perennial vegetables and fruits in the interior of the yard and planted 26 varieties of fruit trees around the perimeter including: pears, persimmons, apples, pomegranates, peaches, cherries, mulberries, apricots, plums, lemons, limes, and oranges. Over the next 8 years, a small outbuilding out of salvaged wood and reclaimed windows was built, a 1500 gallon rainwater catchment tank , 2 greywater systems and drip irrigation were installed, chicks became egg laying pets, a bunny was rescued and made resident, a greenhouse was built, bees were established, compost bins were built out of reclaimed fences, and of course, countless pounds of delicious, organic, local produce were admired and consumed. The farm is permaculture and french intensive inspired and imbued with an artistic aesthetic reflecting Sequoiah's years of experience in garden design and visual arts. Front and side yards boast drought tolerant ornamental gardens and pollinator habitat. This is the site to visit to learn about maximizing food production while conserving water.
ghost town farm LARGE
GhostTown Farm ,West Oakland
Snapshot: On surface raised beds, fruit orchard, creative reuse, chickens, bees, vegetables
Host: Novella Carpenter
Ghost Town Farm Blog

Lot size: 4500 sf..... Farm Use: : 4000 sf..... Percentage:88%
GhostTown Farm is the setting and inspiration for Novella's well known memoir, Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer. It started as a squatted farm on a empty lot in 2003. Raised beds were built from found materials on top of the concrete pad that covered the property. For many years it was a place where neighbors could come and harvest produce on an as-needed basis. Now privately owned it is home to chickens, bees, vegetables, and fruit trees. Over thirty dwarfing fruit trees have been planted, including a citrus hedge and a wall of espaliered apple trees, creating a perennial garden with an eye toward massive fruit production. If you have never heard Novella talk, this is a wonderful opportunity to experience her charm and wit on her home turf. Novella will delight you with stories of farming in the heart of West Oakland. Novella is also co founder of Biofuels Oasis and co-author of the book The Essential Urban Farmer (with Willow Rosenthal).

 

X-LARGE (East Oakland)
Full Harvest Urban Farm, East Oakland
Snapshot: Goats, chickens, ducks, food justice, indigenous practices, solar power, children’s area and a pig.
Host: Region & Karissa Lewis
Full Harvest on Facebook

Lot size: 3 adjoining lots equaling 26,759 sf (2/3 acre) .....Farm Use: 1/3 of an acre..... Percentage 50%
Comprised of the backyards of three adjoining lots in East Oakland, Full Harvest Urban Farm is a full service farm with 25 chickens and 8 ducks for both meat and egg production, 3 kinder dual-purpose goats, dispersed orchard and vegetable plots and a potbelly pig! Full Harvest farmers practice ingenious methods that honor the land such as the three sisters and other companion planting practices. Full Harvest is currently working on a diversity of dvelopment and infrastructure projects including building two residential yurts and one community gathering yurt which will be fully “off the grid” running on solar power in the city. They also have plans for a sweat lodge and food forest. Full Harvest is a people of color led organization that seeks to engage marginalized communities in the fight for food sovereignty and access. They provides service based classes and trainings as well as a direct action approach that engages in the broader fight for food justice with an emphasis on working with communities of color. Host Karissa Lewis speaks eloquently for the need for people of color to reconnect to the land. There will be a special activities for children at this site.

 

 


above: Lower Bottom StrangeGgrange, Full Harvest Farm, Earthly Arts, Kansas Street, Green Faerie Farm
center: Ghost Town Farm honey harvest, Ghost ton farm honey, Full Harvest Farm
below: Lower Bottom Strange grange Sidealkj garden, Permaculture Institute Natural Building, Green Faerie Farm, Obsidian Farm

 

URBAN FARM TOURS DOOR PRIZES
Advance ticket purchase enters you in a drawing to win fun farm oriented door prizes!
Donate a little extra and increase your chance of winning!

BERKELEY-OAKLAND

Private Tour and Tasting at Beegrrl Gardens

Beegrrl Gardens, at the home of IUH founder, K.Ruby Blume, features over 200 species of fruit, vegetables, flowers, culinary and medicinal herbs, rabbits, quail, bees, mushrooms greywater and more. This prize includes a tour of the site and a small tasting for two of jam cheese and honey wine produced on site.

Personal Consultation on Envisioning Edible Landscaping
Offered by Wanda Stewart if Obsidian Farm

Farm Tour Goodie Basket

A basket full to the brim with farm fresh veggies, eggs, honey, mead and a copy of our Urban Homesteading book

Offered by The Institute of Urban Homesteading

Farm Tour Health Basket
A basket full of handmade health & beauty careproducts offered byObsidian Farm

A Dozen Organic, Free-Ranging Eggs from Our Farm Tour Farmers (x2)
Offered by GhostTown Farm and Kansas Street Farm

A Jar of Homemade Jam
Offered by Lower Bottom StrangeGgrange

Five Drought Tolerant Succulents for the Bay Area
Offered by Earthly Arts

Handcrafted Cheve
Offered by Green Farie Farm

Your Choice of $20 Worth Of Nursery Plants
Offered by the Wildheart Nursery at PIE

 

VALLEJO

Farm Tour Goodie Basket
A basket full to the brim with jams, sauces, seeds, eggs dry beans and a copy of our Urban Homesteading book
Offered by Dog Island Farm

A bottle of delightful ultra local red wine with hand-knitted bag (x2)
Offered by Fortress Lindbergs

A bottle of homemade vinegar.
Offered by The Omniferous Plot

A set of handmade note cards
Offered by Good Eggs Farm

A Jar of local Honey (x2)
Offered by KZ Farms

A dozen farm fresh organic eggs from happy local chickens
Offered by Chicken Ranch West