Session: Builder Bootcamp, Summer 2022

Builders: 36 students

Materials: Redwood 1×10, 1×8, and 2×2 lumber, exterior wood screws

Description: In our summer 2022 Builder Bootcamp intensives, our students built a total of 15 garden boxes for Feed Black Futures, an organization that provides fresh food to Black mothers and caregivers who have been affected by the carceral system in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. One of the services of Feed Black Futures is installing garden boxes in people’s homes to help achieve Black food sovereignty. To that end, our Builder Bootcamp students set out in constructing 15 planter boxes! Instructors Emily Pilloton-Lam and Augusta Sitney broke down basic carpentry skills for each student, including how to use the chop-saw, impact drill and driver, speed square. The planter boxes required a surprising level of precision, including strategic screw placement and accuracy to the 1/32 of an inch! The resulting 15 planter boxes can be configured in groups of 3 into a variety of arrangements to accommodate families’ different spatial requirements.

In the design portion of the project, each student designed a garden stake to accompany the planter boxes. Instructors Meghann Harris and Hannah Geitner led discussions on food security, mutual aid, and the importance of food access for all communities. Inspired by the conversation, students designed and painted a garden stake with botanical imagery, such as lady bugs, bean stalks, and monarch butterflies.