Acta Non Verba: Youth urban farm reconnecting children with nature in Oakland

Acta Non Verba is a youth urban farm in Oakland, California that’s planned, planted, harvested, and sold by local elementary and middle school-aged kids.

Founded and led mainly by women of colour from the surrounding neighborhood and larger community, ANV creates a safe and creative outdoor space for children, youth, and families in East Oakland.

The densely populated urban area of East Oakland suffers from pollution, urban blight, and high crime rates. Many residents fear allowing their children to play outside, resulting in severed ties between children and the natural world and a significant reduction in exercise.

ANV engages and deepens the community’s understanding of nutrition, food production, and healthy living as well as strengthens their ties to the community.

ANV says: “Imagine a child who has never seen carrots in the ground or screams in fright at a worm. This is the reality of many children we work with. We design our camps, after-school program, and monthly farm days so youth experience nature in a safe space, playing, learning, creating, and accessing healthy, nature-based experiences that will empower them to be educated, well-rounded stewards.”

Through monthly farm days, camps, and after-school programmes, young children get the opportunity to experience nature in a safe and welcoming green space, learning, creating, and accessing healthy, nature-based experiences that will empower them.

Youth eat organically grown produce from the farm, gaining skills to help cook healthy meals at home. They engage in the arts, cultural programs like drumming, and outdoor activities like field games and swimming. Youth plan, plant, and harvest culturally-relevant food on the farm, stewarding local green spaces and gaining vocational skills as they market and sell produce at our Farmstand. All profits are then deposited into participating youths’ educational savings accounts.

Acta Non Verba

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea


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