Growing Grounds Farm

September 26, 2023

Growing Grounds Farm and Nursery is one of three social enterprises operated by Transitions Mental Health Association.  Established over 35 years ago, Growing Grounds is a nonprofit wholesale nursery that provides therapeutic horticulture, socialization opportunities, paid employment, and soft job skills training for adults with severe and persistent mental illness.

Nursery workers at Growing Grounds

At the Nursery, we balance a traditional business model providing employment opportunities in a near competitive environment with the delivery of critically needed social services. Our goal is to grow a large selection of quality plants while providing an empowering environment where our employees progress on their path towards recovery.  Our employees earn minimum wage and work between 1.5 and 4 hour shifts. In order to be a paid employee, you need to have an open case with San Luis Obispo County Mental Health, and then be referred to the farm for an interview.


Man planting flowers

What Services Are Provided?

  • Soft job skills training necessary for any job. Including opportunities for increased responsibility and learning leadership skills.
  • A safe and supportive environment for strengthening social
  • A job and a
  • Access to trained staff to create personal milestones related to
  • Opportunities to compete for jobs in the community through the Supported Employment


Nursery plants

What Is the Work Like?

Most Employees are paid and are involved in every aspect of production from propagation and seed cleaning to planting, weeding, watering, pruning, selecting and preparing orders for delivery and helping on deliveries to customers. Employees work varying shifts, from 3–20, hours per week in an environment that rewards personal growth and initiative with increased responsibility. Most of the work at Growing Grounds is performed outside and is subject to the prevailing weather conditions. The work is physical, at times demanding, but rewarding and contributes significantly to an individual’s recovery and physical well-being.

Growing Grounds Workers


820 W. Foster Road Santa Maria, CA (Farm)

3740 Orcutt Road in San Luis Obispo, CA (Nursery

Phone: (805) 544-4967






Growing Grounds shed