Each day, Darius and Jeremiah climb into a pick-up truck and head across the road to the vegetable field, a place where the bleak confinement of prison feels miles away. They are part of a volunteer gardening crew led by Mark McBrine, a life-long organic farmer whose motto is, “food can either be poison, or it can be medicine.”

In order to care for his father, diagnosed with brain cancer, Mark was forced to trade in his work on the family farm for a job with reliable hours and a steady paycheck. He took a position as a correctional officer at Mountain View with the notion of one day launching an agricultural program. Mark eventually worked his way into the role of Head Food Supervisor and in 2018 was able to begin making his vision a reality.

Today, Mark endeavors to provide purpose, dignity, and opportunity to incarcerated people through the practice of regenerative agriculture, scratch cooking, and wholesome eating. As they grow their own food, the men reckon with their pasts and prepare for the path ahead.

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