WOW Farm was created out of a derelict lot in the South Prescott neighborhood of West Oakland in 1999. Founded by Philip Krohn, the project’s vision was to conserve urban green space as fertile ground for education, for connection between nature and community and as an immediately local source of affordable organic produce for neighbors. For the first several years WOW was farmed collectively by volunteers of all ages who shared a passion for promoting a more healthful relationship with our earthly sustenance.
WOW was supported in the development of its Saturday on-site market and kid’s summer program in 2002 by OBUGS. A West Oakland non-profit, OBUGS shared a complementary interest in addressing the neighborhood’s lack of access to affordable fresh food and the importance of hands-on educational activities for children and youth in the garden.
In 2005, WOW began a six-year partnership with City Slicker Farms, which was founded in 2000 with a similar vision for its first farm on Center Street. City Slicker Farms operated WOW Farm’s annual production for its sliding scale farm stand and urban farming education activities from 2005-2011.
In 2012, WOW Farm’s Philip Krohn partnered with Game Theory Academy and Sara Weihmann of All Edibles to develop the current youth business program at WOW Farm. In 2014, WOW Farm expanded its operations to a second site in West Oakland, where youth are starting an organic, sustainably-grown flower business in partnership with Tori Johnson of Madrona Floral.