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News Link • Food

Oakland gardener questions need for permit to sell produce

• San Francisco Chronicle

Novella Carpenter took over a vacant lot on a hardscrabble corner of West Oakland eight years ago and turned it into a working farm of vegetables, goats, rabbits and, sometimes, pigs.

Carpenter milked goats, made cheese and ate much of the produce. She also wrote a popular book, "Farm City," about the experience and became an icon of the Bay Area's urban farming movement.

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Don Duncan
Entered on:

Novella made a mistake when she thought she could "buy" the lot. No one owns, they rent from the state. Even so, she can ignore (resist) the gov and hope publicity will save her. Worse case would be the gov takes the lot from her. If she had been sub-leasing she would be in better position because she would be paying monthly and be less vulnerable. One strategy: Just keep going even after they take the lot out of her name. What would they do? Post a guard? She could just wait them out. I doubt it is this bad in Russia or third world dictatorships. Will people ever wake up and fight back?

Comment by Treavor Presentlyinphoenix
Entered on:

OMG you so don't want to read the comments. Sanfran takes on oppressive government. "I think she should be allowed to kill chickens and not bunnies" and "she should be granted a special exemption if she feeds the homeless". Hardly a single post that recognizes essential liberty, your rights are clearly subject to public opinion. I think Sanfran and area residents are hoping that somehow, some way, Oprah Winfrey will come to their rescue.

Comment by Powell Gammill
Entered on:

"It was so great squatting," she said. "I didn't have costs. I was a total renegade doing something totally illegal, but now that I'm a property owner, that's when they actually come down on me.

"I can't fly under the radar and be a punk anymore.

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