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When do we go to the garden?

We go to the garden on Fridays from 4:30pm-9pm and Sundays from 7:30am-1:00pm.

Are there any meetings?

During the School year, we have a weekly Criminal Justice Network meeting that covers the garden as well as the other projects that we organize (Get On The Bus, prison awareness issues, etc). It’s a good thing to attend if you want an overview of the club, but it’s not required. We meet on Tuesdays at 9pm in SARLO (the office directly above the Scripps dining hall).

However, if you just want to specifically work on the garden you can come to garden-specific meetings as well (Tuesday 8:30 pm, SARLO). There is always a chance to become more involved in this project.

If you are interested in becoming more involved please contact
We offer internship opportunities and academic credit.

When do I get to go to the garden? How long will it take me to get cleared and trained?

It typically takes 2-3 weeks for an individual to get cleared, however the prison also mandates that you go through a training process.  This class normally takes around 4-5 hours and will be held on some weekend TBA). Sadly, we don’t get to decide when they offer/schedule these mandatory “training sessions,” but if you are interested in leading a workshop or helping us with other projects, you do not need to attend a training session.

Would we be provided with transportation?

YES. We organize carpools for everyone. During the school year we leave from Seal Court (by the Scripps dinning hall).

What kind of things will we be doing in the garden?

Gardening and having conversations! We’ll be having fun while we’re digging beds, planting seeds, harvesting, and growing food.

How often do I have to go?

If you sign up for this, you are committing to attending at least 3 gardening sessions inside the prison. You also have to attend a mandatory “training session” which will be held on some weekend in the future (TBA).  The prison heartily dislikes clearing people who never show up (it’s a waste of their time), and it reflects badly upon Cultivating Dreams if we clear you and you bail on us. It’s only okay not to have the time to come before you get cleared, after you send me your info you have to show up. (Or you are harming the project’s reputation). So, think carefully before you commit.

I’m cleared but you didn’t let me go to the garden last week because I didn’t email you in time! Why?

You’ll start receiving emails from the Volunteer Coordinator allowing you to sign up to go to the garden each week. It’s important that you respond to her by the deadline so that she adds you to the memo, thus getting you clearance to enter the prison.

What are the Friday night workshops?

Every Friday of the fall and winter months, from 5:30–9:00pm, we go to the prison to hold workshops. We bring outside community members (professors, students, sometimes ourselves) into the prison to talk about issues relating to food, health, gardening etc. Anyone can volunteer to host a workshop, and anyone can come. The women inside don’t have access to the internet and rarely books so these workshops are a major source of information for them and we’ve had some really great discussions grow out of it.

Are the Friday night workshops a weekly thing and are we required to attend all of them?

You are not required to attend any of the Friday night workshops. You just have to go to a minimum of 3 Saturday gardening sessions inside the prison in a semester.


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