Compost processed with a mulching lawn mower.
North Oakland's 94609 zip code leads Oakland's urban farming.
According to a preliminary survey results, 15 percent of Oakland urban farmers and gardeners do so in 94609. This area includes Temescal, Mosswood Park and Bushrod. The next highest concentration is in 94619 - Allendale and surrounding neighborhoods.
With this data and answers to 12 other questions, the Oakland Food Policy Council, which carried out the survey, will gauge Oakland's compost use.
"We received a good response for an informal e-mail survey," said Diane Woloshin, Nutrition Services Director for the Alameda County Public Health Department and a member of the OFPC. "But, we recognize that it's not a broad sample."
All told, 284 respondents were polled. These individuals were connected to the survey through groups such as OBUGS, City Slickers, People's Grocery and Bay Area Urban Homesteaders.
Ninety-three percent of those who responded identify as home gardeners, 84 percent as residential farmers. And, 90 percent say they use compost to grow their fruits and vegetables. Given the opportunity for free compost, 52 percent said they have the means to pick-up.
In the next few weeks, the OFPC will work with the Berkeley Ecology Center to analyze the survey results.
Once ready, the OFPC will submit city-wide compost need recommendations to the City of Oakland. This is the next step in the process of providing free compost to Oakland residential farmers and gardeners. The Oakland compost distribution project will be based on the Berkeley model, which has provided free compost to Berkeley residents for over five years. This compost will be provided free of charge and will be set aside for Oakland residents.
The survey was sent out to various list serves and groups last May and closed June 5.