we grow food and community.

Passionate About Inspiring Others

O Grows is a community-university partnership with the mission to leverage the local capacity in service of community food needs. Community volunteers, including Auburn University faculty and students, collaborate to operate a series of school/youth garden programs, the Opelika Community Garden, and Opelika’s seasonal, state-certified farmers market from our headquarters at the Southside Center for the Arts.

Each year we get hundreds of K-12 students and adults outside and into a garden or attending a local food event. They learn about their place in the food system and many gain skills in food production. Our Farmers Market is located at the intersection of two of the five most food-insecure areas in Lee County, Alabama. Food insecure residents are supported through the donation of nearly a ton of produce annually to the Community Market of the Food Bank of East Alabama and we are able to promote commerce between small-scale local farmers and thousands of customers.


Our vision is the creation of sustainable community-based food systems, where communities work to create shared value in meeting the food needs of all residents in a manner that is economically, socially, and environmentally viable for future generations.

meet our team

Dr. Sean Forbes

Dr. Sean Forbes

 Founder and  Executive Director

Susan Forbes

Community Market Manager

Susan Forbes

Undergraduate Staff

Undergraduate Staff

Tyquavious Barnett

Undergraduate Staff

Dalton Nelson

OLC Teacher

Teanna Moore

Undergraduate Staff


AU Faculty

Svetlana Chesser

Anthony Wheat

Steven Carson,


Opelika Learning Center


Kenneth Burton,

Assistant Superintendent

Opelika City Schools


Morgan Beadles, Vice-President


Auburn University Arboretum


Sheri Downer,

Head of Department, EFLT

Auburn University


Graham Hage,

Owner/Executive Chef

Zazu Gastropub


J.B. Harris, Secretary/Treasurer

Agriscience Teacher

Chambers County Schools


Heath Hoffman,


AU, Patterson Greenhouses

Kathryn James,


Marriage and Family Therapist

Mark Slay


Piedmont Fertilizer


Michelle Key


Opelika Observer

Tipi Miller

Executive Director

Keep Opelika Beautiful


Anne Penney

Fmr. Executive Director

East Alabama Mental Health


Thomas Sherrfield

Truancy Officer

Opelika City Schools


Dave Williams,

Professor, Horticulture

Auburn University 

Lorna Roberts

Retired Banker

Bradley Oaks

community partners

City of Opelika


Lee County Extension


East Alabama Arts Association

Junior League of Lee County


Main Street Opelika

Peidmont Fertilizer


Smith T’s Hardware