"More and more people are rethinking what our local economy is going to look like," said Pallana, a trim 36-year-old with dark curls who helped form the East Bay Urban Agricultural Alliance and provides her household with about 20% of its food.
Still, the push for change in Oakland is controversial. Earlier this year, West Oakland resident Novella Carpenter, who gained national acclaim with her book "Farm City," gave away rabbit pot pies during a fundraiser. The move spurred a complaint, exposing a deep rift around backyard food animals.
Critics argue that animals raised for food spread disease and that eating meat leads to poor health — something city policy should not encourage.
Angstadt said he was determined to present a plan for Oakland that "deals with the entirety of the problem. Otherwise, vegetables will sail through and animals will get stuck forever." The rules will probably determine how many animals could be kept and whether or not slaughter for personal use only would be allowed. The sale of meat, milk and other processed foods is regulated by counties and state and federal agencies, not cities.
"San Francisco punted," Angstadt said, in keeping with good-natured cross-bay rivalry.
Whatever the outcome of Oakland's plan, it seems clear that the cultural shift toward home-raised food is here to stay.
In Berkeley, proposed urban farming rule changes would allow the city to meet a goal for the broader "social good" laid out in the city's 2009 Climate Action Plan — reducing the carbon footprint in getting food to the community.
Councilman Jesse Arreguin's plan, expected to come to a vote this fall, would allow for the home production and sale of all raw agricultural products — eggs and raw honey in addition to plants — with a simple permit at a reduced or waived cost. It also would require testing to ensure the soil is free of harmful chemicals.
"We want to make sure that the food that's being produced and ultimately will be sold to Berkeley residents," Arreguin said, "is of the best quality possible."
In San Francisco, Little City Gardens has offered both healthful food and a sense of community. One family bikes over to pick up their weekly produce, bringing the kids to show them where their chard is harvested. A fellow gardener, also a member, donated pepper seeds he cultivated to thrive in the biting city fog. They have sprouted to seedlings inside the greenhouse built by Galloway and Budner.
As for their neighbors, "I think it took a while for us to prove to them that we weren't wing nuts," said Budner, 30, wiping her brow as she clipped broccolini. "We've been here every day. There's a certain point where you have to get behind that."