The Growing a Community public event held at the Buddhist Church of Oakland on July 19 featured a panel discussion about the individual experiences of three former and current members of the flower growing community. The panelists included Norm Hayashi of Hayashi Bros. Nursery, Robert Shibata of the Mt. Eden Floral Co., and Fusae Yoshida of Sunnyside Nursery. Moderated by Jill Shiraki, the discussion covered the history of each family nursery, lessons learned from working in the industry, as well as funny and poignant anecdotes. The audience gained a deeper appreciation, respect, and new perspectives of the Japanese American floral industry as the panelists shared their memories and experiences of growing up and working at their family nurseries.
Dana Ogo Shew also introduced the Growing a Community project, shared the project website, and presented a video compilation of the oral histories collected as part of the project. Guests enjoyed meeting new people and catching up with old friends while enjoying refreshments after the presentations.