GhostTown Farm started in 2003. The land, an abandoned lot along Martin Luther King Jr Way, measures 1/10 of an acre, and contains chickens, bee hives, vegetable beds, and fruit trees. Over the years, we have raised turkeys, ducks, goats, and pigs here. Now the garden is transition into a mini-orchard. I occasionally hold open farm days and tours, usually in the spring. If you just want to peek in, the address is 2727 Martin Luther King Jr Way. The gates are locked and the garden isn’t accessible except for the days when I have events.
I became enamored with fruit trees when I moved to Oakland in 2003. At the time, I worked at a plant nursery, and couldn't believe how many varieties of fruit you can grow in the Bay Area--from peaches to citrus to apples. Soon I discovered the California Rare Fruit Growers, a group of fruit geeks who get together to talk trees and swap cuttings. When we finally bought the squat lot in 2011, I planted many fruit trees, which I keep relatively small in size; there are over 30 trees on the property now.
For me, urban farming is defined as growing food in a city. I've always like raising animals with veg and trees because it creates a cycle of life. For example, I feed my chickens aphidy kale, then they provide manure to fertilize the next crop of kale. The chickens also make eggs, and are quite fun to watch, so it's a win-win situation for everyone. Sometimes urban farming can provide jobs, if people are willing to bootstrap and grow specialty products like herbs or microgreens. Urban farming isn't profitable, though, so just like rural farming, it's got to be a labor of love.