Contact:  Catalin Kaser
Tel: 510-237-6210

Second annual Urban Homestead Tour features food gardens, home orchards, backyard chickens and other urban livestock in Richmond and surrounding West Contra Costa communities

Richmond, CA, August 16, 2010 - The annual West Contra Costa County Homestead Tour gives a peek into the various ways that people are updating traditional homesteading skills to fit into modern urban lives.  On September 26th from 12 – 4pm, more than twenty residential gardens and several public gardens will be on the free, self-guided tour.  The “homesteads” include small kitchen gardens, converted front lawn gardens, large semi-rural farms, chickens, ducks, goats, parking strip mini-orchards, and much more.  The objective of the tour is to inspire local residents to try their hand at growing at least a little of their own food, no matter how small their space or how little experience they have.  Several of this year’s hosts were inspired by going on the tour last year, the first year the tour was held. 

Richmond, a thriving multicultural city during the 1940s and ‘50s, is experiencing a renaissance.  While still suffering from high unemployment and poverty, there is a new optimism in the city.  Numerous new enterprises are springing up, promising to make Richmond a model of the new green city.  Solar manufacturers and green jobs trainers, plant nurseries, a cross-city bicycle and pedestrian Greenway, and community gardens are part of the Richmond that residents in the rest of the bay area may not know about.  Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library, a free community seed store within the Richmond Public Library, has recently gained recognition as the first seed lending library within a public library in the country, possibly in the world.

Residents of Richmond, the neighboring cities of San Pablo and El Sobrante, and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Contra Costa County, are part of the growing Homesteading-Wherever-You-Are movement. From rooftop gardens and beehives in New York City, urban Community Supported Agriculture farms from Oakland to Detroit, to the organic vegetable garden on the White House lawn, communities from coast to coast are bringing back the “victory garden” and striving for a sustainable, locally-focused lifestyle.

“The tour gives you a chance to meet like-minded people, often right in your own neighborhood,” said Catalin Kaser, organizer of the West County Urban Homestead Tour. “Everyone comes away with new ideas of things to try at home.”

The September 26th tour is free, but requires online registration (visit to sign up).  It is put on entirely by volunteers who are connected to local grassroots organizations including the Richmond Garden Club, the 5% Local Coalition, Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library, Urban Tilth, The Richmond Rivets, and Richmond Spokes.

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If you’d like more information about the tour, photos, or to schedule an interview, please call Catalin Kaser at 510-237-6210 or email: or visit our website: