Deciding Oakland’s food policy future
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Tonight at the North Oakland Senior Center there will be a public meeting to talk about zoning policies in this city. Think: owning chickens, whether or not you can have a rooster, raising quail or rabbits, growing chard, or growing chard that you make into a quiche that you sell… all these issues and more are evolving in Oakland.
For instance, remember reading Farm City author Novella’s blog? She lovingly told us of her gardening discoveries and mishaps, her family of animals and other goings on at her urban farm. But apparently she said too much – city officials started taking notes and serving her with fines. She isn’t the only one. The laws have changed to allow more places to be legal for growing food and having animals in Oakland within the last few months. There is still more changing to do.
If you want to share your voice or listen in on the conversation I urge you to come out tonight. I have been told they are expecting many animal rights activists to show up and support their perspective against legalizing urban animal husbandry, and while I value everyone’s voice, I also know how thoughtful Oakland urban farmers are. I support their right to maintain their beautiful farms.
The smiling goats up in Montclair at Pinehaven, Novella’s air/shade/sunlight-savvy chicken coup, Kitty, who sells me neon golden yolked eggs and walks her dwarf goats around the city streets on leashes, Ruby’s (the founder of Institute of Urban Homesteading) quails and pottery-laiden garden paths… these and the many others whose Oakland farms and gardens I’ve visited should be allowed to continue their operations in a safe and sensible way. Sensible, I love that word.
In honor of the meeting, here are a few pictures from the East Bay Urban Farm tour that Novella and I led this spring. We were lucky to have photographer and journalist Sophia Wang on the bus with us who took these great shots. Here‘s an article by her that I enjoyed.