Fleet Farming Oakland is a non-profit bicycle-powered urban farming program that replaces homeowners lawns with small productive farms (we call them farmlettes). We construct, operate and maintain the farms for free, sharecropping 5-10% of the harvest with the homeowner. The remaining crops are then biked over to our partnering restaurants (Miss Ollie's, Cook and Her Farmer, Flora, Parlour, DESCO, and Hen House). These revenues are used to employ youth in West Oakland and subsidize the expansion of Fleet Farming to additional homes. Additionally, on a bi-weekly basis, we host a moving workshop called the Swarm! It's during the Swarm that folks from inside and outside the community join us for a bicycle powered urban farming experience, going from farmlette to farmlette, learning how to seed, tend to beds, manage pests organically, and sometimes even convert lawns to farmlettes! Some say we farm farmers!
Fleet Farming Oakland is only 4 months old with 3 farmlettes and 1 part-time employee but we've managed to grow over 500 lbs of produce since our inception! We've managed to partner with Clif Bar Foundation to get us started and are well on our way to have 4-5 farmlettes by the end of Summer 2016. Boom!
It's worth noting, there are over 40 million acres of lawns in the U.S. - to add 30-50% of the average U.S. municipalities water goes towards watering the lawn. To add, the average plate of food in the U.S. traveled 1,500 miles before getting to the table... our people, planet, nor economy can afford this wasteful use of space. Thus, we're on a mission to flip the scrip, growing FOOD not LAWNS!
Note: Fleet Farming Oakland is a local branch of the Fleet Farming program at-large. (www.fleetfarming.com)
1 - http://www.cuesa.org/learn/how-far-does-your-food-travel-get-your-plate
2 - http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev-environ-020411-130608
3,4,5 - http://scienceline.org/2011/07/lawns-vs-crops-in-the-continental-u-s/
Funded by Oakland, CA (August 2016)