In 2011, Kelly Carlisle, a Navy veteran, was looking for a way to apply her experience as a Master Gardener.

When Kelly Carlisle first returned to the Bay Area in 2011, she decided to start a garden with her daughter on their balcony. Not long after, she read several articles highlighting Oakland’s 40% high school drop out rate and the FBI’s ranking of Oakland as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. From there, Kelly decided to dedicate her life toward starting a community garden for youth to learn about nutrition, food, and themselves.

Through family Kelly eventually connected with the Director of the Tassafaronga Recreation Center in East Oakland, who was interested in starting a garden on their property. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of success on the farm, with the kids, and in the media. Since 2011, hundreds of children have participated in our seasonal camps, and our food stand and Community Supported Agriculture programs are growing.