What I’m calling “Fox Farmette” is an empty City of Oakland-owned piece of land bounded by four streets: Telegraph to the East, Rashida Muhammed(sp?) to the West, William to the North and 19th to the South. It’s the bare brown square next to the red letter A on this map.
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It was supposed to be a lot filled with Forest City-developed condos (and yes FC got a free 99-year lease from the city, and FC also gave generously to Jerry Brown’s State AG run) but now FC has no money so no condos. The city then thought of repaving the dirt again to build a 1-story parking lot downtown. The public said no so now the lot sits fallow. I’ve been working my magic there though. Behold, baby steps to community gardenhood.
Photos from Saturday at Fox Farmette.
You will notice there are no raised bed vegetable gardens. No corn, sunflowers or squash. So far this has been a one-man project. I can use your help. Your time, knowledge, seeds, soil, wood, nails, money, whatever you fancy. It’s fun to garden and the soil is rocky. It’s also a dog run.
Saturday I planted some white clover. Clover fixes atmospheric nitrogen into the soil through symbiosis with bacteria who do the real N fixing. P and K are harder to add but not impossible, especially if there were composting toilets around.
Future plans: would like to add 1-2 raised beds, sunflower patch, corns-beans-squash rows. All gardening would need to be drought tolerant since there is no irrigation. There are plenty of weeds in the “empty” Uptown lot… dandelions (or look-alikes?) and other things I don’t recognize. Will post those up later.
What I’m doing is not unique. Two people have said it’s like the Octavia/Fell/Hyde Street gardens in SF that got publicity recently. To me it is similar to the Garden Boyz project on the east coast or the shrinking and bulldozing of Detroit into a smaller, manageable city, or similar greening of cities in former East Germany.