The Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP) is a partnership founded by the Washington State Department of Corrections and The Evergreen State College. Their mission is to bring science and nature into prisons through ecological research and conserve biodiversity and reduce the environmental, economic, and human costs of prisons by inspiring and informing sustainable practices. Food Tank will be sharing posts from SPP, highlighting their in-prison gardening programs. These programs grow produce for the prisons’ kitchens and local food banks, and bring beauty and diversity to the prison yard.
Hello my name is Christopher G. Ramos and I am currently one of the fortunate inmates who have been given the grand opportunity to participate in the Worm Farm Project. I can honestly say I don’t truly believe that the label “Worm Farm” expresses all the great things that we do. In this job there is composting, gardening, landscaping, and a host of different types of recycling.
This job has put me into a position to learn new and very exciting things. It allows me the privilege to see my hard work, which in turn results in a self-sense of accomplishment and helps build one’s self confidence. Growing up I never knew how hard and how much time, effort, and energy was spent in starting and maintaining a garden. I mean, I would watch my grandmother put in countless hours into building and maintain a healthy garden, but I never truly understood the art of gardening.
By utilizing this opportunity to participate in this program I have gained so much knowledge and wisdom in these fields. I feel as though the information I’ve accumulated from this experience is one of my most cherished possessions. And this is why: gardening is all about rebirth. You see, you plant a seed in the proper soil with the correct amount of nutrients and in the correct timing of year and up grows this beautiful plant full of life. This same concept I believe applies to my life situation. I have been reborn into a better individual. By no means am I saying that my incarceration is rebirth. More so, my positive and productive choices that I have made have been my rebirth process.
Links to other articles in this series: