The bleating of goats, clucking of chickens and quacking of ducks is not what people expect to be hearing when walking through the blighted, Lower Bottoms of West Oakland. But since the inception of Neighbors Together Oakland (NTO), this hard-working organisation has centered on shaking people’s expectations on the agricultural possibilities of inner city environments. Neighbors Together Oakland is a 501(c)(3) organization focused on generating localized agricultural systems and raising community livestock in an impoverished, food desert. What started as a small community garden in 2014, has since grown into a fully functional 13,000 sq ft urban farm with 60 chickens, 10 goats and a family of ducks, nestled between two housing projects, in a neighborhood where there is not a single full-service grocery store. Neighbors often share that the farm has brought a shared sense of community, safety and pride that they would have never thought possible in such a historically dangerous area.
NTO produce a ton of food each year, run two weekly food banks that feed fresh produce to over 100 neighbors in need and provide fresh goats’ milk and eggs to their community year-round. The NTO team believe that growing food and raising community livestock revitalizes marginalized neighborhoods in struggling urban areas, providing generative third spaces for community organizing centered on life production, cultivating self-reliance and resilience. NTO also provides regular nutritional education workshops for local families, as the food we consume has deep impacts on our mental wellbeing and childhood brain development.
Our highly toxic world has had negative effects on the health of all living beings. Through keeping livestock to produce nourishment for impoverished communities, who struggle to access nutritionally dense food, NTO hopes to offset the negative impacts of highly processed foods, produced via animals kept in inhumane conditions and pumped full of antibiotics and chemicals that are harmful to our physical and mental wellbeing. The correlations between childhood brain development and proper nutrition are widely known and providing access to and education about nutritionally dense produce is a vital service in areas with underfunded educational systems and worsening literacy rates.
The NTO team use natural remedies for their livestock whenever possible, including food-grade diatomaceous earth as a goat dewormer and garlic, chamomile and echinacea as immune boosters and to support digestive health. Chickens are provided with chamomile from the garden to reduce stress and arsenicum album for digestive issues.
HomeoPet are delighted to support such an inspiring project as Neighbors Together Oakland and truly admire the vision, the dedication and the hard graft demonstrated day in and day out by the NTO team.
Andrew from NTO comments “We at Neighbors Together Oakland greatly value HomeoPet’s commitment to generating data driven research on the impacts of homeopathic veterinary medicine that help inform producers who are invested in an enriched relationship to our natural world. The potential for this kind of research to influence the practices of producers and pet owners who may lack the foundational awareness and information is a beautiful service. Our organization will be providing this research to thousands of Oakland residents who care for animals and are subscribed to our mailing list and attend our frequent events.”
Help NTO to raise $150,000 by January 1st, 2024 to turn an additional 8,000 sq ft blighted lot into a thriving urban farm to help feed Oakland neighbors living in a food desert, provide them with the opportunity to raise community livestock together and make Oakland city safer!