Yesterday my BBB (best book buddy), Diana, and I went to the Steynberg Gallery in San Luis Obispo to attend a book reading/signing by Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer.
Ms. Carpenter is an amazing public speaker, regaling us with humorous tales of chard growing and pig raising. Her book is filled with a lot more of the same.
Recently her garden in Oakland has come under attack by the city itself. She has been threatened with fines for not having a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to grow produce commercially. While she, at times, has sold some of her excess fruits and vegetables, she mostly gives it away or uses it personally -- she is not doing this as a business venture and it is not being done in a commercial capacity. Alas, she has resigned herself to "play by the rules" and is now collecting donations to pay for the $2500 CUP.
On a happy note, the City of Oakland, due to the backlash this story has created, is looking into changing the regulations regarding who will be required to obtain a CUP in the future. In other words, someday soon other residents of the City of Oakland can grow produce and raise farm animals on city lots without fear of prosecution. Thanks to Novella!
To learn more about Ms. Carpenter’s crusade, please go here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/05/BAFG1IPTFT.DTL