WHO WE ARE
Garden 31 trains and mentors youth and adults that are considered at-risk, formerly incarcerated, justice impacted, and socioeconomically disadvantaged in regenerative agriculture and life skills to improve community health and wellness.
Our goal is to create new farmers and leaders who will grow organic produce to be distributed in communities that currently have low access to healthy whole foods.
To empower socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and strengthen communities by providing career opportunities in regenerative agriculture, food sovereignty, and land conservation.
WHAT WE DO
We are dedicated to empowering disadvantaged community members with the skills needed to create sustainable food systems and community health.
We have the capacity and vision to provide San Diego with a long-term solution that ensures underserved communities have equitable access to skill-building opportunities and nutrient-dense produce thereby fostering community health and resiliency.
Garden 31 not only continues to positively affect individuals through our training programs, but also benefits the local economy by generating opportunities to actively engage and empower underserved communities to have agency within the local food system.
We offer a wide variety of services, including:
Farmer and Rancher Training Apprenticeship (G.R.O.W.E.R. Program)
Career-Path Education in Agribusiness
K-12 School Garden Creation and Curriculum (San Diego County)
Community College and Neighborhood Gardens
Community Education Workshops
WHERE WE SPROUTED
FROM PRISON TO PLANTS, POWER & PEOPLE
Garden 31 was founded in 2021 by Chris Burroughs, a master composter, community activist and environmental sustainability champion who like many others from underserved neighborhoods, was confronted with addiction and gang culture at a very young age.
Chris served 14 years in prison, 90 days of which in solitary confinement where a gardening magazine sparked his interest. He spent the next five months writing a business plan and when he was released, his vision for Garden 31 came to life.
"While I was incarcerated, I got a Mother Earth News magazine. It just opened up a world of nature, a different type of living. All you have to do with nature is expose someone to it, and they'll receive the bounty that it will give them."
Chris knows environmental pressures can cause people to make poor choices — he now seeks to use his experience as a foundation to empower others to gain an education, establish meaningful careers and build community.
WHAT WE'RE FIGHTING | DETERRENTS TO SELF-SUSTAINABILITY
When a person or group that is treated insignificantly, pushed to the margins of society and rendered powerless.
The unequal distribution of income and opportunity between different groups in society. Often people are trapped in poverty with little chance to climb up the social ladder.
When systems and policies, actions and attitudes create inequitable opportunities and outcomes for people based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, etc.
FEAR OF Violence
When members of marginalized groups must live with the fear of violence. Violence directed against oppressed groups disables and impoverishes them, while enriching or empowering the oppressor or the indirectly privileged.
Not being believed because of social status and personal backgrounds; not being heard where narratives did not align with dominant discourses, and not being acknowledged where aspects of identity were disregarded.
The act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have experienced negative consequences of that behavior. It is also used to refer to the percentage of former prisoners who are rearrested for a similar offense.