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RE: Prison garden


i know this is shameless self promotion and taking advantage of a situation,
but for those interested in the topic at hand... at our upcoming ACGA
conference in Atlanta, one of the gardens on the tours is the site of a
former federal prison farm.  it's quite lovely now, with beautiful stone
buildings, barns and the old greenhouse.  great for research, i'm sure.

fgc
Community Garden Coordinator
Atlanta Community Food Bank
970 Jefferson Street, NW
Atlanta, GA  30318


-----Original Message-----
From: John Verin [mailto:jverin@pennhort.org]
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 1:21 PM
To: Honigman, Adam; listserv cg
Subject: RE: [cg] 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.

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