Update: Thanks to everyone who donated so far, I’m up to over $1,000 from mostly small donations $5-20. You guys rule!
It’s really hard for me to ask for help. I’m used to doing things myself, helping other people, and figuring out some jankity way to make things work out. Welp, the time has come for me to admit that I can’t figure this out by myself, and I don’t have an extra $2500 floating around. Last night Bill and I were at Berkeley Bowl and I asked him, “Am I really in trouble? or am I just being whiney?” Bill said, “Of course, this is total BS! We pay property taxes on that lot, and spent our last pennies to buy it so we can have a farm and now they say you can’t have the farm? Do you know how much money we’re spending so you can have some chickens or ducks?”
It’s true, this is stupid. Why am I even trying? Why not just move to the country and do whatever I want? Why be so deviant, why not just go buy my food at the grocery store and shut the fuck up?
I’ll tell you why: I love Oakland. I love the people who live here, and I love my neighborhood. It is like freaking sesame street walking down the damn street with everyone saying hi and helping each other out. I even don’t mind the city–they are just doing their job. And, at the same time, I love keeping animals and growing vegetables. I adore my goats and my egg laying chickens, and my meat ducks. That’s what my book Farm City is all about–figuring out how to live in the city and raise my own healthy, delicious food. What was surprising to me was when Farm City came out and people got so excited about urban farming for themselves. This enthusiasm and excitement has been a by-product of the farm–or should I say a value added product?–and makes me realize that I can’t stop and just walk away. Your words of support keep me doing what I’m doing.
When we saved our money and finally bought the lot after squatting for so many years, I felt like I could finally relax and build on what we started. That’s still what I want to do: make a teaching space, a hub for other urban farmers to sell their extra produce and honey, and a demonstration for best practices for urban farming. But these troubles from the city and the
animal rights activists rabbit nazis and people who think what I’m doing is Weird, are really kicking my ass. It’s eating up all my time and energy, and I’m running out of money.
I know lots of people have sent offers of help my set up various systems to raise money, sorry I didn’t get back to you yet. I was trying to figure out how to do it myself. So, check it out, there’s a paypal button on the right sidebar of this blog (I’m a technophobe to the core–thanks Marg and Daniel for your help). Feel free to give, and know that I’ll use the money to fight the urban farming fight. Note that these donations are not tax deductible. They’re gifts to a private entity.