Farms...in Berkeley? Well, dairy cows may not be drinking lattes on Shattuck Avenue, but there are working urban farms in the Bay Area. So if you're garden-deprived or just longing to get dirty without leaving town, here are a few opportunities to dig in, learn, and taste what's growing in your city's backyards.
On Tuesday, Oakland's City Slicker Farms is hosting a BBQ and a showing of the movie "Fresh" at Fitzgerald and Union Plaza Parks (34th and Peralta in West Oakland). Come on down, meet your neighbors, and find out how City Slickers is going to turn part of the park into a new community farm. Can't make it on Tuesday? Check their website for volunteer hours at one of their half-dozen community farms, all dedicated to growing affordable produce for West Oakland.
Graze the Roof is Glide Memorial Church's innovative community-gardening project. The church's rooftop garden focuses on hydroponic and container gardening, and hosts community workdays every weekend and workshops throughout the month.
What could be a better mitzvah, or good deed, than growing food for those in need? That's the philosophy between Congregation Emanu-el's The Pe'ah Garden in Colma. This garden in, yes, a cemetery (hey, it's Colma. What did you expect?) is planted, maintained, and harvested by congregation members and volunteers, with the bulk of the harvest going to the San Francisco Food Bank. Jonathan Silverman, who coordinates the garden volunteers, also teaches ongoing gardening workshops throughout the year.