So I won't even post what my front yard looks like. We have a large picture window, which offers a view from my studio space onto an exciting stage of drama. If I lay on the rug and look up at the sky I can see the tops of the three eucalyptus trees that survive the concrete plaza's offerings. But if I look right outside there is a park, a plaza really, where a bunch of folks hang out all day and a few regulars make it interesting. It is mostly harmless, folks tending to keep to them selves, with loud laughter and talking and sometimes yelling. Most people don't recognize my street name but if I name the intersection of the nearest 2 streets, most know the spot. I have a lot of complicated feelings about living here, but there are some bright spots.
This month's postcard asks you to write about your favorite spot in your neighborhood. Most Saturdays, Andy and I walk four blocks to another rowdy park, walk through a small handmade gate into an oasis. City Slicker Farms have been bringing produce, garden starts and eggs to West Oakland since 2001. The urban garden and farmstand in our neighborhood is only a part of what they do. They have a nursery a few blocks away, a backyard gardening program helping to build raised bed gardens in residential and small businesses in the community. They recently purchases a lot of land not too far away that will include a playground, and an outdoor classroom and so much more. They just completed a fundraising event for construction costs, surpassing their goal by 10%.
Our Saturday walks lead us past abandoned empty houses, families outside, newish condos, artist lofts converted from a school and to the shady corner where the farmstand is set up every Saturday. Recently, they moved the stand inside, allowing for a glimpse into the garden. Prices are sliding scale, allowing anyone to get fresh vegetables. I usually pick up some flowers too, and on the way out we stop to see the chickens. I've seen a mix of people shopping at the stand but Joseph and the volunteers will chat for a minute if you want. Two weeks ago, I gave them a copy of this month's card. If you live in West Oakland, stop in!
City Slicker Farms farm stand is open every Saturday at 10 am until they run out. Prices are on a scale and if you are able, give them a little extra. It is an amazing asset to the community.