No one knows exactly how many urban farms there are in the Bay Area, but there is a growing market for supplies.
The BioFuel Oasis in Berkeley is doing a brisk business in hay bales, animal feed, salt licks — things that used to be sold only in farm areas.
Sarah Barengo shops there for chicken feed.
“We’ve driven to Petaluma too get it, so it’s definitely more convenient here,” she said.
The store offers classes and advice on many farm related activities.
“A lot of people that are doing urban farming are also interested in canning, so we have mason jars and books on canning,” said Jennifer Radtke from BioFuel Oasis
And there’s a huge array of books on other aspects of farming. Novella has written one about how she turned her urban wasteland into a city farm.
She says people may try farming to save money, but it’s a lot of work and you better love it or it won’t last.
“When you are in front of a computer all day and you are just on the phone and you don’t have any contact with the natural world, urban farming is a really great way to have contact with animals and insects and plant life, and it’s a great way to feel alive,” said Novella.
About Biofuel Oasis
Biofuel Oasis in Berkeley is an all-women worker-owned cooperative and urban resource for folks who want to lighten their ecological footprints and maybe raise a chicken or two. Besides selling biodiesel and farm supplies, the Oasis regularly offers workshops on diesel car maintenance; raising chickens, ducks, and goats in urban environments, and rainwater harvesting and greywater for gardens, to name just a few.