top of page

West Oakland Farms sows seeds of renewal for ex-inmates

Michael Short

Sep 17, 2021

Three days a week, at the corner of Seventh and Campbell streets in West Oakland, a small team of farmers prunes collard greens, weighs just-picked corn and waters redwood-framed beds that have exploded in yellow flowers. Just a few feet from the shadow of the BART train, Gaquayla Lagrone, the group’s established tomato whisperer, gently collects a dozen varieties of heirloom fruits.

Lagrone, along with all her fellow farmers, is a former prisoner who has been struggling to craft a new life after incarceration. Yet, West Oakland Farms is no community service organization. It’s a for-profit business, owned collectively by the farmers themselves...

bottom of page