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Would It Cost You $2,500 to Grow Chard in Your Neighborhood?

Oakland urban agriculture hero Novella Carpenter was just busted for growing chard. A new interactive map shows you what's legal in your community.


For the past six years, Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer, has been growing strawberries, broccoli, dinosaur kale, honey, goats, and more in a 4500-square-foot formerly vacant lot in a rundown part of Oakland known as Ghost Town. Earlier this week, she got a nasty shock when she found a City of Oakland official taking photos of her garden. He then kindly informed her that:

I'm out of compliance for "agricultural activities." I'm supposed to get a Conditional Use Permit for growing chard. The annual fee: $2500.

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