1. We built the infrastructure & started planting trees on our 5 Acre Farm in El Sobrante – the largest urban food forest farm in California. We dug 1 mile of water harvesting swales, built 5 acres of deer fence, installed an extensive rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation system, and planted hundreds of apples, figs, grapes, cherries, and persimmons trees, with many thousands of berries, shrubs, and fruit and nut trees ready to go in the soil! Check out our latest video update below:
2. We purchased Rolling River Nursery, one of the most successful permaculture plant nurseries in the world, with national reach/clientele, and the largest and most biodiverse collection of certified organic edible tree crops in North America…1100 varieties!
3. We started providing comprehensive health insurance for all full-time PJ staffers as part of our investment in economic justice and organizational sustainability, including comprehensive health, vision, dental, chiropractic, and life insurance.
4. We hired 4 people coming home from San Quentin. Mo, Darryl & George all just celebrated their one year anniversary of freedom, and are doing fantastically (read Mo’s blog post here). Bilal Coleman returned home in November and has had a successful transition so far as he explores his passion and applies his skills to the Planting Justice team – he even raised $200 on his first day canvassing on the street!
5. We built a new garden at Camp Sweeney, Alameda County’s juvenile detention facility, in which our education team offers monthly workshops that empower the young men with knowledge about permaculture, food justice, personal wellness, and meditation/mindfulness.
6. PJ welcomed 6 diverse and uniquely skilled new staff members. Kelly Curry, Dana Mitchell, Nicole Deane, Eugene Allen, Joe Urias & Clinton Williams have enriched the Planting Justice family, bringing with them experience and skills in diverse areas, from permaculture to prison abolition.
7. Our canvass team educated over 40,000 Bay Area residents about the need for economic justice and leadership from formerly incarcerated communities to transform our broken food system.
8. We started a partnership with the Employability Program for men and women at Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail in which our Education team facilitates a workshop once a month that explores food justice history and promotes holistic wellness.
9. Transform Your Yard installed 8 grey water recycling systems and 4 rainwater harvesting systems for East Bay residents, diverting over 500 gallons of reusable water every week to thirsty landscapes and collecting over 1,550 gallons of water during this rainy winter season.
10. We expanded our garden program at McClymonds High School to 25 raised beds and 9 fruit trees, and we solidified a partnership with McClymonds’ special education teacher Mr. Grace so that once a week students who have learning disabilities or exceptional cognitive or physical needs can enjoy the many benefits of our workshops in this thriving garden on campus.