I came across this article a few days ago and I haven’t stopped thinking about it. Give it a read friends.
The article is from an online gardening forum – urbangardensweb.com. I signed up for newsletters from UG when I had started my own container garden in the back of my building in 2010, and I still get updates. Also – I won best Urban Garden about six months ago – but I haven’t had my garden growing since summer 2011, shhhhhh. They were old pictures and content, I didn’t realize I was still in the running – come on people!
I think the Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP) is a fantastic program. (read the article) Aside from the physicality the inmates get while working in the gardens, or sorting the garbage for compost – there is also that much time spent being productive and less time being indoors, where it would be much easier to get involved in some kind of shenanigans. That’s what they call prison drama right, shenanigans? Thought so.
Some of these SPP’s also provide certificates in gardening, which will be super helpful upon their release into the ‘outside’ world and hopefully, seamlessly fitting back into ‘society’. I doubt that these men and women were in similar working situations before finding themselves in the clink, but it’s possible. This innovative program is helping them create new lives then they have possibly ever known before, which will hopefully steer them far away from a situation of re-committing a crime.
All of those benefits are great. Now think about the pride these men and women feel when they grow something from seed and feed it vitamins and mineral through compost and water it everyday and separate seedlings when needed and then they reach real fruition! JOY!!! If any of you two or three people reading this have ever gardened you know what I’m talking about. Such pride – ‘look what I did’! I haven’t been in prison much – that’s right I said ‘much’ – but I imagine there isn’t a lot of opportunity to feel proud of your behavior or what you are accomplishing.
The other part of this project that is completely amazing is that the food being produced is either going directly back into the kitchen of the prison or it goes to a food bank! Food bank – these men and women, these prisoners are voluntarily helping those LESS fortunate then themselves, less fortunate than being able to live in a prison. Holy heck – mind blown! Imagine the spiritual energy that goes into this food, that is then taken in by other who really need it. Is that to deep? No, it’s not. How many of us can say we do the same to help others? These men and women are growing healthy organic foods for not just themselves but for the masses! This is an ‘us’ ‘we’ project people, not a ‘me’ ‘I’ thing. A project for the greater good of mankind and for the earth. Pretty great stuff. Karma yoga y’all. Right?
I included some pics of my award-winning garden in case you were wondering, I’m sure you were.
Peace – Meg