Video: Inmates at Correctional Facility Grow 5 Tons of Food for Less Fortunate

Video: Inmates at Correctional Facility Grow 5 Tons of Food for Less Fortunate
General Health

Show me you have a seed there and I’m prepared to expect wonders — Henry David Thoreau.

Here’s a new twist on food sustainability. Inmates at Maryland’s Eastern Correctional Institution have grown 5 tons of fresh produce for the less fortunate on a small garden plot, turning rock-hard soil into food for others.

The program is similar to others taking root around the country. Inmates not only help to reduce costs for prison food, but often grow more than they can consume, and donate it to local food pantries.

The food these prisoners grow not only helps to rehabilitate the incarcerated, but it offers better nutrition for those who are food unstable – since it is rare to find fresh fruit and vegetables at the food pantry, and you are more likely to find boxed, and canned foods full of all the same preservatives you likely try to avoid yourself.

Gardening on a prison plot is often hard work since the soil was rarely meant for agriculture, but many prisons have waiting lists for inmates to participate. That’s how popular the programs are.

Read: Prison Inmates Grow and Donate 163 Tons of Produce

As insightgardenprogram.org points out, the US spends $80 billion a year on the prison industry. Perhaps this investment could seed some new plants, and not just hardened criminals. Their program in California alone has saved approximately $40 million dollars, and less than 10% who participate in their inmate gardening courses return to prison.