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On a rainy Saturday morning, a group of interns and volunteers gathered at GROW Oakland Farm in front of Oakland’s historic 16th Street Train Station. They spent much of the morning clearing out dead flowers in preparation for planting.

West Oakland flower farm to provide job training for youth

on December 14, 2018

In West Oakland, GROW Oakland Farm is in transition. Since 2014, the flower farm had been operating as the West Oakland Woods (WOW) Flower Farm under the leadership of Game Theory Academy, a nonprofit that teaches youth participants about financial literacy and how to run a business. But this summer, the flower farm became GROW Oakland Farm and is currently being run by Beyond Emancipation, a nonprofit that offers services like job training, navigating housing resources, and educational support to former foster youth transitioning into adulthood. Starting in February, 2019, youth from Beyond Emancipation will be interning at the farm, learning the basics of horticulture and urban farming, along with the skills of running a small business. GROW Oakland Farm sells floral arrangement to local business and floral services for special events, like weddings.

On a rainy Saturday morning, a group of high schoolers, volunteers and farm employees pulled out the season’s leftover dead flowers. They’re preparing for planting season and the start of a new phase at the farm. Click through the photo slideshow above to see them in action.

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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