Maria Hernandez

Farm Collective Member

Maria Hernandez was born on a ranch in a small town in Oaxaca, Mexico. She came to the United States with her family in the year 2000. Maria has known about farming, ranches, growing food, and harvesting just to name a few things since she was a little girl. She has learned these things by working alongside her parents and grandparents, all of whom tended to the land. She remembers growing and harvesting corn, squash, and beans throughout the majority of her childhood. She started working at Urban Tilth in 2013 with the help of Tania Pulido, who she is so thankful for because this job is what she loves to do most. Knowing a single seed can grow and feed many others makes the job so rewarding.

Laura Navarro

Farm Collective Member

Laura Navarro, born in San Pablo California, but was raised in  Michoacan Mexico as a child , and then moved back to the San pablo/Richmond area at age 9. Laura has worked at Urban Tilth for about 9 years now, She first started as an apprentice and now she is a garden educator at Richmond High school and Verde Elementary. Laura studied sociology and Latin American and Latino studies at UC Santa Cruz,  and also took a year long apprenticeship at the CASFS. She also completed a permaculture design certification at the Soul Flower Farm.  Laura is passionate about making change in her community and fighting for people and Earth’s rights, as well as providing people with healthy and chemical free food. In addition, while in Santa Cruz, she volunteered at the Western Workers Association, and has also worked with ACCE Action and fought for fair renter’s rights. 

Luis Jacobo

Farm Coordinator

Luis Jacobo has been with Urban Tilth since 2017, where he started first as a recurring volunteer with his girlfriend Tania for a few weeks and then was asked if he would like to join the Urban Tilth team. This was during a difficult time in his life when his brother had just passed away. He also wanted a change from his demolition job at the time. He stayed at home with depression for 2 months, but coming to the farm helped him see the beauty of growing compared to destroying  buildings. Luis was incremental in the early years of the Farm to Table CSA. He has also helped lead SAP programs, also tours, ran the farm for a bit with partner Tania, holding it down in people’s absence. Used to be a litterer and now has trash from 2 weeks ago because he held on to it to throw it in a trash can. This is just one of the many ways Luis has changed since being at Urban Tilth. He used to think seeds just needed water to grow but has learned it takes much more than that, like having patience and consistency.

Marcos Floriano

Director of Farm and Gardens

Marcos “Chito” Floriano began his journey in social justice at the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, CA. At RYSE, Chito also gained skills in photo and video production where he was able to teach classes and help other young people tell their stories using a camera. These skills have allowed Chito to land big opportunities with local musicians where he was able to tour the country, travel to Australia, and even help with getting a grant for Urban Tilth to begin what is now known as the North Richmond Farm. Chito has worked the corn fields in Pajacuarán, Michoacán where his father is from. This was Chito’s first experience working the land and caring for crops. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chito began to realize the importance of being able to help the community directly through providing food. Chito’s passion for living a healthy lifestyle, influencing others, and ending generational disease in his community, is his burning desire that wakes him up everyday. Chito spends a lot of time at the North Richmond Farm working alongside the crew to make sure crops are taken care of, is also an apprentice through the program with the Center for Land Based Learning, loves to make music, and stay active. Chito hopes to continue growing with Urban Tilth for the years to come while positively impacting the community through their amazing work. 

Tania Jacobo

Tania started when she was 18 at Adams Crest Farm in 2016, when the Farm to Table CSA consisted of 50 recipients. Her father was involved with the first construction projects at the North Richmond Farm and it was through him how she heard about Urban Tilth. She helps with everything here, from leading SAP projects to helping put on community events like the annual Martin Luther King Day of Action. Tania’s love and appreciation for nature came from her early childhood years living next to the Oaxacan beach and rainforest. Coming to Richmond, she noticed the relationship to the environment was much different. She has a lot of respect for nature, and gets upset when people litter because she sees it as if you were disrespecting your own mother. She notices that in recent years, there are much more youth taking an interest in defending and protecting the future of the planet and hopes to help in any way she can to set the next generations up for success.