About Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation
Lettuce Grow brings sustainable gardening education to prisons in the State of Oregon.
Our volunteers and guest speakers educate inmates on organic gardening and sustainability topics. We provide classroom learning and hands-on experience in the garden. We encourage prisons to incorporate their harvests in their own kitchens and support donations to local food banks. We are passionate about the positive power of gardening.
We partner with Oregon State University Extension to provide sustainable gardening classes, resulting in an OSU Certificate of Home Horticulture for inmates. We also partner with the Oregon Food Bank’s Seed to Supper program to bring sustainable gardening classes behind bars.
Our volunteers are Master Gardeners, and many others with farming and gardening expertise. The prison gardens help produce food for prison kitchens and for donations to local food banks. Last year these gardens grew 200,000 pounds of fresh food for prison kitchens and donated 20,000 pounds to food banks.
We began our work with one prison garden in 2008. This year we are working in 12 of the 13 Oregon correctional facilities. We have recruited steady and experienced volunteers, and have slowly worked to establish our sustainable gardening program for inmates. This both improves the gardens, generates food bank donations, and gives inmates a credential for job search when they are released. Our development plans include creating a greenhouse management class and a permaculture class.