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RE: Prison garden in Missouri

Slow down there, Adam.

I've heard many account of prisoners LOVING their gardening opportunities,
for it is/was their only outlet for creativity, connection to life... plant
vitality, color, food... sense of their work doing good for the hungry...

In an instance where food was being grown in a prison for a food bank, the
work was entirely voluntary, and fact of the matter is, those prisoners who
got involved wouldn't quit to let other prisoners have a try. The food
gardening mattered that much to them. Moreover, the work in the garden was
way more satisfying than hanging out in the weight lifting room or the
concrete court yard.

In the past, prison farms fed the prisoners. Not such a bad idea. Many of us
could use lessons in appreciation for the food we eat, i.e. to actually work
to make it grow. Corporate food distributors have gradually replaced prison
farming, and from what I've heard, the prisoners were way better off eating
the fresh produce they grew than the processed stuff coming out of "food
service" companies.

I put this out just to say it's best not to lash out at things since there
can also be good sides.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
> [mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of Honigman, Adam
> Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 12:07 PM
> To: 'Emma Eyre'; community_garden@mallorn.com
> Subject: RE: [cg] Prison garden in Missouri
> Emma,
> Prison farms are an old story in the USA. The restorative justice spin is
> window dressing for the use of unpaid prison agricultural labor
> in what has
> come to be known as "The Prison Industrial Complex" . That the food banks
> get fresh food is a splendid end. The means is appalling.  This
> end would be
> better met by free, independant farmers paid a living wage by the
> government.  That the unpaid agricultural labor of prison inmates is
> construed by the program directors  as a great gift is similar to the
> "Arbeit Macht Zu Frei" ( work makes you free) cast iron signs on the gates
> to Nazi concentration and forced labor camps. Orwell lives.
>  The largest and oldest self-sustaining organic prison farm is Louisana's
> Angola Prison (which was designed on the ante-bellum slave plantation
> model.)  Angola prison, whose inmates are predominantly African-American,
> and whose sentences are often life imprisonment, can hardly be
> considered a
> progressive institution. Forced agricultural labor in a chain gang is not
> the model of renewable agriculture that we should foster.
> Adam
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:	Emma Eyre [SMTP:emma_eyre@hms.harvard.edu]
> > Sent:	Monday, July 10, 2000 12:03 PM
> > To:	community_garden@mallorn.com
> > Subject:	[cg] Prison garden in Missouri
> >
> > Hello garden folks,
> >
> > Thought some of you might be interested in the following article (link
> > below) on a prison garden in Boonville, Missouri.
> > http://www.cnn.com/2000/FOOD/news/07/07/seeds.of.reform.ap/
> >
> > I have recently received a Peace Corps invitation to serve as an
> > agriculture/forestry volunteer in El Salvador for a couple of years.  My
> > recruiter said that I would most likely be working in a gardening
> > cooperative or a tree nursery.  Does anyone on this list have any
> > experience in agriculture work in Latin America -- specifically Central
> > America?  I would love to get in touch with you.  Also, if
> anyone knows of
> > internet resources I should look up, please drop me a line -- see my
> > e-mail
> > above (so you don't have to reply to the whole list).
> >
> > Thank you,
> > Emma Eyre
> >
> >
> >
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > Emma Eyre
> > Curriculum Coordinator
> > Division of Medical Sciences
> > Harvard Medical School
> > 260 Longwood Avenue
> > Boston, MA  02115
> > (617) 432-0605
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com
> > https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden
> _______________________________________________
> community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com
> https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

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