Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Field Trip to People's Grocery and City Slicker Farms

This past Friday I went on a field trip to the East Bay with 4 of Produce to the People's summer youth program workers to visit People's Grocery and City Slicker Farms.  We chose to go to these two great organizations because they understand how the food on our tables is all part of a larger story of power.  
Our first stop was one of People's Grocery gardens at their 55th street garden.  We met up with Jason who told us all about the history of People's Grocery, their gardens, where their food goes, and why they do what they do.  We heard about how City Slickers works to build a more ethical, sustainable, people-oriented, and locally based food economy by creating a grocery store in a part of town where there is severely limited access to healthy food and their Grub Box CSA program.  This approach tips the balance of power back to the people that the food industry serves, rather than the current model that is largely directed from the top which creates problems too numerous to fit in this blog post.  I definitely encourage you to dive into learning more about that!
Next stop was City Slicker Farms where we met up with a farm apprentice, Molly at their Secret Garden location!  If our talk at People's Grocery centered around the intersections of food, politics, and power, our City Slicker tour gave us a good dose of the nuts and bolts of growing food in urban Oakland.  
We saw beds of chard, kale, collards, beets, and turnips, all laid out intentionally to grow the most food in the smallest amount of space.  We also learned about how they built their soil using double digging, and fun methods to keep away pests.  
They're also a garden that has a strong sense of community.  That evening there was going to be a barbeque with volunteers.  

Thank you so much to Jason, Molly, City Slicker Farms and People's Grocery for having us and showing us such a great time!  It was amazing to see how in other cities the love of food is bringing people together, creating communities.  How do does community come together over food in your life?

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