Green thumbs keep prisoners hands clean

The trend to start a garden, ride a bike, keep bees and chickens, mulch, collect rain water, brew beer, and the like should not be confused with the twee affectations of the much maligned “hipsters” of the U.S. Gardening, like riding a bike to get around, is a serious solution to many of the problems that we face as a civilization.

While hordes of Americans delude themselves into thinking that iPads represent the next great leap forward for humanity, it is a select band of prisoners in the state of Washington and here in California, at San Quentin Prison, show us the true way to a righteous and happier future. Lo, it all comes from gardens.

Great news about cost savings, recidivism rates, and reduction of environmental damage emanate out of the Sustainability in Prisons Project in the Washington State Department of Corrections.

Even better news out of San Quentin, where a similar gardening program has been implemented and has shown similar results.

It is pretty neat to think that the same trend that is sweeping the front and back yards of Angelenos is busy helping the incarcerated find a meaningful life after being in prison. As the noted permaculturist Geoff Lawton has said, “All the worlds problems can be solved in the garden.” I guess so long as those problems aren’t gardening problems, I’ll agree.

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