The Latest

We hired Joshua Sternberg a farmer and educator from Northern California to lead the Earth Program’s Ecosystem Restoration Project at Mendocino County Jail. He is building an 8 week certification course in regenerative agriculture that will provide incarcerated individuals with a certificate and time off their sentence.

Gary York, 30 year Correctional Officer veteran, and spokesperson for Guards to Guardian, wrote an article about the program in Corrections1. Read the article here

Art of Soulmaking is now in 121 facilities across the United States

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has accepted our application for the Art of Soulmaking program to be used at 10 facilities in California, with the potential of reaching 110,000 incarcerated individuals.

The Earth Program met with the founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive based in Michigan to provide the us with baby trees of the most evolved tree DNA in the world for the Earth Program’s prison program.

Free Food has now served over 12,000 meals this year, most of them sit downs in Ukiah, CA and Harlem, NY

Free food Harlem received 300+ lbs of donated produce from Fairway for our delicious farm to table meals

Free Food Oakland had its first pop up in July, serving enchiladas, Spanish rice and homemade cookies to those living on the streets of Oakland

Keisha and Casey Ernst, graduates from the Soil Food Web and of Catalyst BioAmendments, visited our property in Northern California and did testing of our living soil with a 40x video enhanced microscope. They’re helping the Earth Program develop our curriculum to include elements of the Soil Food Web school, the premier methodology of soil education in the world.

Matt Sherman, member of Black Box, recently posted about his experience in New York City. Check out his blog post here

Volunteers harvested snap peas and lettuce from our farm for this week’s Free Food Philo meal

Mendocino County Jail received a chicken coop donation from Carolina Coops, and Founder Matt DuBois flew in to help build it with the male and female garden crews

A state prison in Alabama has approved the inception of it’s first ever yoga program, held by members of the Art of Soulmaking community there. UFP is sending over 25 yoga mats and yoga blocks to be used on the death row unit yoga group.

Matt Sherman, a member of BlackBox, is on a Black Joy & Genius Tour along the East Coast. Read his latest blog here

Soulmakers have been sending us beautiful art work as they go through the program. This is an art piece from California Medical Facility

Earth program awarded a $50,000 grant to fund our prison botanical sanctuary program at Mendocino County Jail, a program that will both promote ecosystem restoration, community contribution, as well as education and employment for the incarcerated population at the jail. Watch our video here

The Guards to Guardians program completed it first five week series with five guest speakers taking 20+ officers through the Guards to Guardians workbook. Recordings are available online on our website to view.

John Liu is on an extended stay on The Land and designing a 100 square mile restoration plan in Anderson Valley California to offset early stage desertification.

Jay Davis, leader in the Harlem Bloods organization and long-time peace advocate, and Gary York, 30-year veteran CO, have each signed on as advocates and spokespeople for Art Of Soulmaking and Guards to Guardians program. A North Carolina State prison has given preliminary approval for both to visit over a weekend to launch each program

The Art of Soulmaking, launched 18 months ago, now receives over 350 letters every month, has reached over 3,000 people, and we now have over 250 volunteers

BlackBox released an interview with Jay Davis, Harlem Blood leader, on his path of Soulmaking in gang to prison life. Chowchilla prison then asked if he could come do a program there. Watch video here

Free Food Philo completed a mini-film about the Free Food Philo sit down meal at a local restaurant. Watch here

Golden Rule Garden in Ukiah joined our Free Food partner network, supplying produce weekly for our Philo and Ukiah meals.

Guards to Guardian currently is working with officers to be trained in the program to mentor other COs around the country.

There are now more than 70 graduates from our Art of Soulmaking program.

Art of Soulmaking program launched an online certification process for our new letter-writing volunteers. Sign up here.

Our Guards To Guardians team was invited to the OneVoice United Correctional Officer Wellness Conference in DC where we had the opportunity to discuss our program with over 250 officers and unions representatives from across the world.

Mendocino County Jail kicks off its ecological restoration project, providing both education in native trees and tree starters, as well as supplying much needed native plant starts to the state of California.

Ecologist John Liu came to Mendocino County Jail as a guest speaker for incarcerated participants in our Prison Earth Project.

We have started to serve our Free Food meals to residents at Live Oak Apartments, a transitional home in Ukiah where most residents are food-insecure. They look forward to Friday meals every week.

Free Food Harlem is now serving 300 people a week, with a rotation of chefs from Harlem cooking meals at the church before dining service every Friday evening.