Hey y’all! Brett here, Farm Enterprise Manager, with some fun updates from the Farm this hot summer.
Roots of Success graduations
First, we want to celebrate two of our residents who completed all ten modules of the Roots of Success Environmental Literacy & Job Training program. This course improves environmental justice awareness while also preparing students for careers in the green economy. To learn more about Roots of Success, click here.
Graduates will receive a pre-apprenticeship certification from the U.S. Department of Labor that they can use when applying for jobs in the career path of their choice.
The Growing Season
Our farm has been thriving with all the rain of late (unfortunately, so are the weeds). We harvested lots of herbs and flowers like lavender, chamomile, rosemary, calendula, and sage. These plants are dried in our drying shed and then processed by resident-employees before they are infused into grapeseed oil. The infused oils are a major part of the ingredients in our body care and candle product line.
We also went on a special trip to Fireside Farm to learn flower cultivation from the experts. We are so thankful to Lisa for sharing her time, energy, and flowers with us during the peak of the growing season.
Last but not least, give us a moment to wax poetic.
The Beach Trip
Benevolence Farm moves us away from prisons and towards communities of care. Part of that care involves tapping into joy.
This past June, we took off a workday and drove over to Wrightsville Beach with staff and residents. An alumna and her children, together for the first summer in years, joined us.
For six people, this trip was the first time seeing the ocean.
We spent the day on the sand — playing games in the waves, resting, eating, building sandcastles, hunting for seashells — all the while enjoying one another’s company.
There was time for souvenir shopping, dinner, and some of us tried custard.
You hear us talk a lot about how healing the Farm is because of its proximity to nature. The ocean holds a similar transformative power. It’s also one of the few public natural spaces we can bring our residents of all conviction types.
It is an honor to accompany incredible women to this sacred space for the first time since coming home from prison. It is why our mission of building community and cultivating joy is as important as access to wraparound services.
Here’s to the joys of summer.