Last month, WHYY featured The Pennsylvania Horticulture Society’s City Harvest program (see Grid's November 2009 issue p.16) as an audio story episode of Fit, their healthy food and drink station. This is definitely a program worth revisiting and getting excited about.
Through City Harvest, inmates of the Philadelphia Prison System plant vegetable seedlings in a greenhouse facility in Northeast Philadelphia.The greenhouse is part of the Philadelphia Prison System and grows over 4,000 pounds of food a year.
“The inmates that we deal with understand that the food we grow goes into soup kitchens and food pantries,” Sharat Somashekara, a horticultural instructor at the greenhouse, told WHYY. “They understand the plants and trees go to gardening projects all over the city.”
“It feels good to know we are able to grow something that people can actually eat and that it is safe and organic,” Rhonda Gibson, one of the inmates participating in the program, also told WHYY. “It makes me feel that I am part of growth, that I am part of life.”
City Harvest is not only designed to encourage inmates to help other people in the community, it also prepares the inmates for when they return to society by focusing on earth science and basic math skills incorporated with construction and cooking skills.
Read or listen to the entire story here.