Echoes of social justice programs that the Black Panther Party started resonate within current East Bay food-justice groups.
It started with a “For Sale” sign, prominently displayed to traffic whizzing up and down Sacramento Street in South Berkeley. Next came a formidable black fence surrounding a relatively small pizza-slice of land smack in front of Spiral Gardens, a popular nonprofit community garden project at the corner of Sacramento and Oregon streets. The fence blocks the garden’s main entrance.
A group of local residents is asking the city to raise funds to turn an old, fenced-off railroad bed in South Berkeley, called the Santa Fe Right of Way, into open space with community gardens and a trail that connects to the Ohlone Greenway.
City zoning board members approved a 77-unit mixed-use housing development near downtown Berkeley late last week, expressing excitement about a “unique” design set to include more than a dozen working rooftop farm plots and a novel approach to parking.
A local vet shares his concerns that people are raising chickens in lead-contaminated urban soils, unaware that the lead can enter the chicken eggs we eat.
In August 2010, Sophie Hahn told a reporter it was easier to have a pot collective in Berkeley than to have a vegetable collective. Last night Hahn’s desire to see the city allow residents to sell the food they grow in their backyards came one step closer to reality when the Planning Commission unanimously passed the Edible Garden Initiative.
Berkeley's alternative food programs and businesses in the spotlight on a food soverignty tour co-hosted by Bay Area Green Tours Saturday.
The aptly named Willow Rosenthal grew up around trees in Sonoma County in a community that farmed its own food. Raised by hippies who didn’t have a lot of money, she nonetheless ate well. She also learned how to grow her own food by working on an organic farm and for a local nursery.
For four years Kim Allen has served as garden program manager for Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA), which provides a minimum-wage, internship program for socio-economically challenged adolescents ages 14 to 18. Some come to the garden through word-of-mouth from family or friends, others as part of mandated community service.
Like many nonprofits, it took a while for the downturn in the economy to impact the nursery sales at Spiral Gardens, a community food security project on Sacramento Street in South Berkeley.