urban gardening

The food that grows from concrete

Jul 6, 2015
Olivia Cueva

Imagine eating at your favorite restaurant and being told that the salad on your plate was harvested from the cracks in the sidewalk in West Oakland. Would you eat it? Two professors from UC Berkeley think you should. Their project is called Berkeley Open Source Food. To get these weeds from the ground to your dinner plate, they’re commissioning high end restaurants like Berkeley’s Chez Panisse to use these greens and show the public that they are not only safe to eat, but have lots of nutritional value.

Oakland youth grow a taste for fruits and veggies

Sep 29, 2014
Kelly Carlisle

I’m walking across an old baseball diamond at Tassafaronga Park in Oakland with four very qualified agriculture experts. We’re approaching a new vegetable garden that they helped create.

“First we picked our seeds, and then we got to get our hands all dirty with the soil,” says eight-year old gardener Jordan Sanders. He’s a member of Acta Non Verba, an urban farming program for local, low-income youth.

Photo courtesy of flickr user fletcher oakes

A vibrant mural announces Happy Lot Farm and Garden to visitors and anyone passing by. A greenhouse stands in the middle of the lot, and an improvised chicken coop occupies one corner. The trees and raspberry beds that head farmer Andromeda Brooks and her volunteers planted here a few years ago are now bearing fruit. And anyone who chips in gets to take home some of the harvest.

Brooks started Happy Lot almost three years ago, as a community project to improve the neighborhood’s morale.

Kevin B. Jones


Like many people who see a pretty rose in bloom, Annette Smith likes to take in the sight and scent of it. But when she bends her head to inhale this particular rose’s fragrance, her enjoyment comes with a deeper meaning – she remembers where this rosebush came from, and how and when it was planted here.