Lettuce Grow!

- by Amy

The Organization of the Month for March is Lettuce Grow. Once again, on the last Saturday of the month, a portion of Bolt’s proceeds will be donated to a worthy non-profit. Sarah Patterson, Director of the program, gave me a powerful overview of the mission and achievements of Lettuce Grow:

Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation creates gardens and gardeners in Oregon prisons. We partner with the Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener™ program, and the Oregon Food Bank’s Seed to Supper program to bring sustainable gardening classes behind bars.

The prison gardens help produce food for prison kitchens and for donations to local food banks.

Last year Oregon’s prison gardens produced over 200,000 pounds of food. Most of it goes to the prison kitchens to improve nutrition and save taxpayer dollars, and last year 20,000 pounds was donated to local food banks around the state.

We began our work with one prison garden in 2008. This year we are working in 12 of the 13 Oregon correctional facilities. Much of our work goes on in the Columbia River Correctional, which is just north of the Food Bank of NE 33rd street. We have recruited steady and experienced volunteers, and have slowly worked to establish our sustainable gardening program for inmates. This both improves the gardens, and gives inmates a credential for job search when they are released. Fifty four inmates state wide have completed the Master Gardener course, the first step to becoming an Oregon Master Gardener. Over 100 are signed up state wide to take the clss in early 2013.

Shop at Bolt on Saturday, March 30th and help us support the work of this amazing organization!