Growing and collaborating since 2001

Planting the Seeds

Since 2001

City Slicker Farms began with a mission to co-power West Oakland community members to meet the basic need for fresh, healthy food by creating sustainable, high-yield urban farms and backyard gardens. Since its founding in 2001, City Slicker Farms has been at the forefront of the 21st-century sustainable urban farming and food justice movement, gaining national recognition as a leader in supporting low-income communities of color to grow food in the city. In the last 20 years, we have built over 400 backyard and community gardens, produced 300,000 pounds of nutrient rich food, and trained thousands of community members in organic gardening methods and environmental stewardship.

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Backyard Gardens Program

Increasing food access

Through our Backyard Gardens Program, we build raised beds, test soil, provide free tools, materials and supplies for members to grow their own food. To support their success, garden members get two years of direct mentorship and a lifetime supply of soil, seeds, and starts

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West Oakland Farm Park

Building community

At the West Oakland Farm Park, we have a working educational farm including a greenhouse, chickens and bees; a community garden, kitchen, playground, and beautiful outdoor spaces for community events. The Farm Park is a place to gather, play, learn, grow and connect.

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Farm to Fridge

Food Sharing

City Slicker Farms is part of the Town Fridge collective, a network of refrigerators across Oakland that provide free food to anyone who needs it. We’re able to stock the fridge with fresh produce we’ve grown, as well as contribute space and electricity for the fridge at the Farm Park.

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Skill Sharing

Farming and Cooking

Schools and community groups can visit the Farm Park as part of our Food and Farming Skill Sharing Program. We also offer gardening internships, workshops and host cooking classes and potlucks to share the community’s vibrant culinary traditions.

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Meet The Staff

Kelly ErnstFriedman
Executive Director

Kelly has 10+ years of non-profit leadership experience focused on working with communities to increase food, environmental and social justice. Prior to joining City Slicker Farms, she was the Executive Director of CommunityGrows, a garden-based youth development organization in San Francisco, and Program Director at Food Shift, a food recovery organization in Oakland. In 2010, she completed her doctorate in Cultural Anthropology with a concentration in Race, Gender, and Social Justice at American University in Washington, DC.

Julie Pavuk
Director of Urban Garden Education

(photo by Pendarvis Harshaw)
Julie specializes in intensive urban agriculture techniques, urban farm management, program management, and garden education/coaching, using the lenses of food justice and therapeutic horticulture. One of her current interests is designing insectaries to grow and support populations of beneficial insects. Insectaries enable us to use more biological controls for pest management while creating oases of life and beauty that welcome friends like butterflies and hummingbirds to visit.

Claire Meuschke

Claire Meuschke is led by the preservation, accessibility, and adaptability of traditional foods. She was a Farm Assistant at Las Milpitas Community Farm in Tucson, AZ, and more recently, a Farm Hand at Radical Family Farms in Sebastopol, CA. Descendent from a lineage of chefs in San Francisco Chinatown, she is grateful for this opportunity to grow food—on Ohlone land—where her family has lived for over a century. She is an educator, editor, and writer of poetry.

Gardeners Taught
Beds Built
Workshops Taught

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