Edible School Yard Project

This is a 4-week commitment for the lead and their helper to meet with the same group of 4 residents.  You can continue with the same cottage & garden bed if you like or take a break after each 4-week session.  ESY lead, Pamela, has adapted curriculum from the non-profit’s ESY Project curriculum into 4 suggested workshops – some with cooking & some gardening.  Use Pamela’s ideas or create your own.  Tools, gardening materials, and cooking ingredients are provided.

We need both leaders & helpers.  Sessions will be after 3 PM weekdays or can be on weekends. We’ll pair you with a partner & a cottage depending on what works in your schedule.  Can you join us?

And thank you to all the generous supporters who allowed us to purchase deer-proof garden beds for all 8 cottages (living quarters for 10 to 17 residents)!

This program has 2 main components with suggested lessons & activities provided.

  • Know, Sow, Grow – hands on growing with gardening-based activities & lessons geared towards teaching the basics of plant parts & processes, emphasizing garden vocabulary & observation.
  • Cooking with Curiosity – introduces the youth to cooking skills while building reflection practices so that they can cook confidently on their own terms.

Our curriculum has been condensed  and adapted from The Edible Schoolyard Project.

Plant & Seed Donations Welcome – A few ideas are carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapenos, potatoes, sugar/pie pumpkins, zucchini & other squash, blueberry bushes,  and all types of vegetable seed packets.

Email with questions or if you’d like to be a part of this program with a cottage of kids.

The Benefits of Gardening Are Numerous

Successfully taking a tiny seed & helping it to grow & flourish

  • Boosts Self Confidence
  • Instills a spirit of hope, endurance & patience – virtues needed for both gardening & life
  • Encourages relationship building, trust, responsibility, & problem solving skills
  • Reduces recidivism rates among participants
  • Lowers rates of depression & improves mental health
  • Lowers stress levels
  • Provides outdoor physical activity – exercise to improve endurance, strength, mobility & flexibility
  • Increased emotional intelligence

Studies show prison gardens:

  • Save money for criminal justice centers since they provide a healthy source of inexpensive fresh food for better nutrition
  • Community gardens foster feelings of community & connection

Vocational Landscape Training

This horticulture program will also give hands-on-skills to residents who can in turn find related jobs upon release.

Here’s a great article with more benefits of prison gardens.