Urban Farming Spreads Throughout Bay Area (VIDEO)
Ever since San Francisco's Little City Gardens helped revolutionize urban agriculture, San Franciscans have enjoyed kale, summer greens and ripe tomatoes grown in neighborhood backyards for sale at the farmers market. And now, thanks to an initiative passed at Tuesday's City Council meeting, locavores in Oakland can, too.
On Tuesday, the Oakland City Council voted to overturn a ban on selling homegrown produce, allowing backyard farmers to bring their fruit, vegetables and herbs to sell at the local farmers market.
"It's the first step in legitimizing urban agriculture in Oakland," said Oakland farmer Esperanza Pallana to SFGate. "It's also preserving our right to grow our own food for ourselves and our community."
For many home farmers, the initiative is a way to help make ends meet and to help support the expenses of growing food at home. But for farmers like Pallana and Little City Gardens, initiatives like these are essential to helping the community support a more healthy and sustainable way of life.
And the movement is certainly not unique to Oakland and San Francisco. In Vallejo, husband-and-wife-team Rachel Hoff and Tom Ferguson eliminated trips to the grocery store for an entire year with the support of their 1/3-acre backyard farm. "It was much easier than we thought it would be," said Hoff in an interview with the Times-Herald. Hoff and Ferguson grew everything they needed and traded and bartered for the products they couldn't grow.
"I know the quality is better," said Ferguson. "I know where it's coming from, what's on it, or what's not on it." And now, Hoff and Ferguson say they will never go back.
Check out their backyard garden in the video courtesy of NBC below:
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