The Community Garden at Explore College Prep Middle School, East Oakland

Starting in April of 2009 the after school program at Explore College Prep Middle School in East Oakland, CA launched an urban farming and culinary arts program. Working with Planting Justice, as well as Mandela Marketplace and WYSE (West Oakland Youth Standing Empowered), students from Explore Prep planted 30 fruit trees in the Burbank Garden, a perennial food forest, and started a organic vegetable garden in raised beds on the school’s blacktop. These gardens are providing the students with hands-on educational experiences in growing food and understanding nutrition through their after-school program. In collaboration with WYSE and the YMCA after-school program, Planting Justice leads the Food Justice and Culinary Arts class every Wednesday. They will continue this Spring and Summer to develop the perennial food forest at Burbank Garden by holding community work-parties and free permaculture workshops, helping to empower local residents with the skills and inspiration to develop this garden as a vital community resource. Stay tuned for their next community work-party, curriculum they have created for the middle school students, and further ways in which you can participate!