ABOUT. Alma Backyard Farms was inspired by the voices and ideas shared by juvenile offenders and prisoners eager to transform their lives and communities by "giving back" to the communities they "took from" and were taken away from. For most people experiencing incarceration, there are few opportunities to see and interact with nature and few opportunities to provide nurture to others. Yet few are given the opportunities to learn skills and make that possible.
Alma Backyard Farms has listened to the formerly incarcerated and been inspired by their willingness to reorient their lives as caretakers of community. Recognizing that Los Angeles is a place where no life or space is wasted, Alma Backyard Farms creates multiple opportunities for women and men who were incarcerated to give back to the health and safety of communities by growing food in and for these communities.
Rooted in restorative justice and environmental stewardship, Alma Backyard Farms started in 2013 to implement this project of reclaiming lives, repurposing land and reimagining community. Alma Backyard Farms proposes real solutions to the challenges of California's overcrowded prisons and food injustice in low-income neighborhoods. Recognizing that no lives or land is to be wasted, Alma Backyard Farms creates opportunities for the previously incarcerated to become agents of health, safety and community.
COMPTON. In 2017, Alma Backyard Farms installed its largest urban farm on the property of a church and school. This space is 1/4 of an acre and has allowed for a three-fold increase in Alma’s capacity to grow food and impact community. Today, the urban farm in Compton acts as Alma’s hub for its programs. With a larger urban farm site, Alma Backyard Farms is now poised to grow more food and create more opportunities for formerly incarcerated people, at-risk children and youth, and food insecure families.
The urban farm in Compton includes 8000 square feet of edible landscape with 36 raised beds, 12 fruit trees, and a 4000 square foot pollinator garden. In the near future, there will be a farm stand where produce will be shared with the community.
SOUTH LA. In 2015, Alma installed an urban farm at a transitional home providing an opportunity for over 60 formerly incarcerated persons to experience re-entry as a means to “give back” and restore their personal sense of agency. Alma Backyard Farms transformed a space known to community members as “a dope house” into a productive space that grows food and grows community.
The urban farm in South Los Angeles includes 2000 square feet of edible landscape with 12 raised beds, 24 fruit trees, 1 chicken coop and a 1000 square foot pollinator garden.
EAST LA. In 2013, Alma installed an urban farm that provided food to 5 families of formerly incarcerated parents and their children as part of an effort to reunify them. Today, the food grown in this farm continues to benefit all of Alma’s constituents.
The urban farm in East Los Angeles includes 750 square feet of edible landscape with 8 raised beds, 8 fruit trees, and a 450 square foot pollinator garden.