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East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Environment & Forest Defense | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Front Page

Sat Nov 24 2012 (Updated 01/06/15)
University of California Razes Publicly Planted Crops on Gill Tract
Sat Nov 24 2012 (Updated 01/06/15)
Occupy the Farm Remains Committed to Protecting Albany Farmland in Perpetuity
Occupy the Farm writes: "On Friday November 16, 2012, the University of California (UC) razed all of the publicly planted crops on the Gill Tract.

"Occupy the Farm is disappointed that the UC has unnecessarily destroyed the hard work of the community and food that could have fed it. Over the course of the last month, members of the public sowed edible winter greens together with fava beans, a popular and effective cover crop. Had the UC left these in place, the Gill Tract would have benefited from the necessary nutrient building over the course of the winter, and would have produced food for the community. The weekly distribution and harvest events could have continued that, over the course of the summer and early fall, have yielded over one ton of food from the crops planted during the occupation last Spring. This free food was distributed locally in Albany, Berkeley, Richmond and Oakland at pop-up farm stands organized by Occupy the Farm.

"However, the successes of the last seven months inspire us to continue to organize. Despite the UC police raid and the destruction of over half of the crops in May, we still managed to grow and distribute thousands of pounds of free food to the community this summer. The unprecedented public access to the Gill Tract this spring allowed thousands of Bay Area residents to finally set foot on the land and farm. In August, a successful petition for referendum was submitted against the Albany City Council approval of UC development. In September, Whole Foods cancelled its development plan with the UC entirely. The UC also announced a modest ten-year guarantee to preserve the northern piece of the land and promised a nebulous College of Natural Resources program for urban agriculture.

"Now is the time to compare our position to that of the UC, and to make it clear what we are fighting for.

"We want to see the Gill Tract preserved as farmland, in perpetuity."

Read More | UC destroys winter greens and cover crops planted by Occupy The Farm on the Gill Tract | photoOccupy the Farm's Fifth Harvest Pulls Many Pounds of Fresh Produce for East Bay Community: photos