WHO WE ARE
PLANTS - POWER - PEOPLE
To empower socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and strengthen communities by providing career opportunities in regenerative agriculture, food sovereignty and land conservation.
To create a community in which all people have access to nutritional food in an environment that is conducive to growth, health, and prosperity.
To grow greatness, empower other, build community and connect with the earth.
WHAT WE DO
Garden 31 works to bring social equity and food sovereignty to San Diego residents by working in alignment with the SD Food System Alliance mission to cultivate a healthy, sustainable, and just food system.The award from this grant will help us develop these farm sites for optimal food production.
Our farming education and career apprenticeship programs serve are more than 75% BIPOC and residents experiencing economic fragility, low educational attainment, low access to healthcare, inadequate housing, and food insecurity. Our programs help to change these circumstances for these communities by providing access to healthy, careers in the horticulture industry and training for community members through workshops.
We are dedicated to empowering disadvantaged community members with the skills needed to teach others how creating a sustainable food systems community health. We offer a wide variety of services, including:
Farmer and Rancher Training Apprenticeship
Agriculture Career Path Education
Corrections-Workforce Partnership Job Creation
School Garden Creation (San Diego County)
K-12 STEM Garden Education Curriculum Partnerships
Community Garden Creation
Community Education Workshops
Garden 31 has worked tirelessly to develop intentional relationships with underserved communities; working closely with various agricultural, educational and social entities to positively impact community resiliency and local agriculture in San Diego. This has included building partnerships with farming cooperatives, non-profits, transitional high schools as well as institutions of higher education to maximize community impact.
WHERE WE SPROUTED
Garden 31 was founded by Chris Burroughs in 2021. As a master composter, community service worker, and environmental sustainability expert who, like many others from underserved neighborhoods, was confronted by addiction and gang culture at a very young age. Chris spent much of his youth in and out of juvenile hall and later served 14 years in prison, 90 days of which in solitary confinement.
While incarcerated, Chris came across a gardening magazine and sparked his passion for learning about how to sustainably grow ones own food. Burroughs spent the next five months in prison writing the business plan for Garden 31.
"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 nature will give them."
With more than 2 million people in the nation's prisons and jails, the U.S. leads the world in incarceration. About one-third of people released from prison will return at some point in their lives. Chris knows that he didn't have the resources he needed as a young man — he now wants to give at-risk young people something tangible: an education, a career, a community and a foundation to work towards owning a home, taking care of family, you can be proud of what you do.
After prison, Burroughs studied sustainable agriculture and environmental sustainability. This was the catalyst for Chris' desire to develop a new two-year organic farming apprenticeship for the formerly incarcerated. Raising funding for the effort, he now wants to create a 25-acre farm with housing. Apprentices would work on the farm and attend classes at nearby community colleges.
"Let's take our power, let's use what we have. We are the valuable resources. We are the power. We can do whatever we want to do."
Through his deep community roots and a dream to generate holistic community health, Chris and his team have a vision of building goal-oriented curriculum and career training for disadvantaged community members and youth all over the country — with your support, that vision can become a reality!
Garden 31 is an environmental and social justice nonprofit that works to create jobs and a more equitable food system.
We are dedicated to equip disadvantaged community members with the skills needed to create
Garden 31 is staffed with passionate environmentalists, agriculture experts, and educators that are capable of developing and implementing viable and resourceful learning programs for students of all ages.
We work to create a safe space for the underserved and under-resourced communities in our society. It's paramount to our mission that we empower individuals to cultivate their own self-sustainability free from injustice and oppression:
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.