Our work changes in winter. We do what we can to prepare for bad weather -- mulching, waterproofing, putting tarps on everything -- but we’re usually inside, huddled next to the heater, flipping through seed catalogs and wishing it were July.
Thankfully, there are daffodils.
Daffodils are exuberantly yellow, and are at their best against dark rain clouds and gusts of wind. We’re growing daffodils at the West Oakland Farm Park, and they’re making February much more tolerable. Daffodils are in the genus Narcissus, which has approximately 50 species. They grow from bulbs, and are mostly dormant from summer to late winter. They’re bright, cheerful, and fresh-smelling, and if one were to assign them human characteristics, as I am prone to do, they’d be your most supportive friend who can always be relied on.
Beyond my flights of fancy, daffodils are important to many cultures. In Iran, daffodils are a symbol for Nowruz, the springtime New Year celebration. In Greek mythology, they're linked to Narcissus, whose self-absorption was so intense that he inspired the naming of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (although it’s unclear whether the flower-name came before the myth, or vice versa). The daffodil makes an appearance in countless poems, but Wordworth’s "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" is arguably the most famous -- here's an excerpt:
... For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
I like to make a flower arrangement on my desk each week, because I’m lucky enough to work at a Farm Park surrounded by plants, and I’m so thrilled it’s daffodil season. Onwards to spring!
We reinforce self-sustaining access to food and build community through urban farming, education, and recreation.
At City Slicker Farms, we believe that healthy, affordable food is a universal human right. This belief is demonstrated daily through our work with individuals, community groups, and other like-minded organizations to develop and support high-yield urban farms and community gardens.
At a time of rapid and unsettling change, City Slicker Farms offers a “nourishing community” that promotes the setting of roots, not only of the food that people grow, but of a the social connections that sustain body and soul. At a time and in a place of so much uprooting and displacement, City Slicker Farms promotes a model of community rooted in sharing and sustenance, connecting people not only to the soil, but to each other.
City Slicker Farms has been at the forefront of the urban farming and food justice movement, gaining national recognition for its success in supporting low-income communities of color to grow nutritious produce in the East Bay’s food deserts.
CSF Community Day: March 30
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Each year we build dozens of gardens for community members, feed hundreds, and educate thousands of people about health, nutrition, and agriculture.