community gardeners tend

Gardening for food, rehabilitation
City provides seed harvest; community gardeners tend; products goes to the needy.

In Ginny Smith
Nicholas Rowan, a 22-year-old from Mayfair, is for violation of probation time. He does not want to tell the world about his first crime, and inside the greenhouse on grounds Philadelphia prison system in the north-east, it does not really matter.

It is coaxing tiny tomato plants on a little peat pots biggest called "six pack", and had it not been for his orange jumpsuit and correctional officer in the corner, I look for everything the world like any other gardener in the spring.

"We must be very mild," says Rowan, slowly lifting potted plants in another.

This week, under an innovative program called City Harvest, tomato transplants and thousands of other fruits, vegetables and herbal plants should be delivered to 30 community gardens around Philadelphia. There, they will be planted and maintained, the product harvested and finally returned to 30 food cupboards in local churches, community centers and high-and low-income apartment complex.

Last year, gardeners given 12000 pounds - six tons. This year, given rising food prices and increasingly necessary, they are in sight for 15000 pounds.

"We are all really just the idea of getting fresh vegetables to people who need food, especially a large number of elderly who are accustomed to having fresh produce," says Don Nilsen of Powelton Village. Last year, he and four others in the summer of Winter Garden near the Drexel University delivered 237 pounds of greens, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers in a food cupboard to a church nearby.

Now in its third season, City Harvest is distinguished from other prison, community gardening, food distribution and nutrition education programs across the country insofar as it involves not just one or two of these elements, but all four.

"For us, there was enormous power in this idea," says Priscilla Luce, president of the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, which provided $ 500000 in grants to see the program in 2009. It is managed by Philadelphia Green, the PA Horticultural Society's urban gardening initiative.

The idea came at the same time on several fronts.

First, in the late 1990, supporting foundations began in Philadelphia green insisting that his community gardens generate "greater aesthetic value beyond the improvement of a package in city, "said Joan M. Reilly, Philadelphia Green chief.

Several achievements followed: gardeners who were already informally share their abundant harvests, that gardening is increasingly used in the "healing workshops" on drug rehabilitation and other institutions, and that rates for conditions such as obesity and diabetes are rising.

At the same time, the prison system was looking to revive its horticulture program, dormant since an electrical fire destroyed two-era Victorian greenhouses to the road on a complex ten years ago .

Finally has come more and more advocacy for "food security," the notion that all households, regardless of their income, should have access to sufficient increased safety, affordable and nutritious food.

Steveanna Wynn, executive director of SHARE non-profit, sees it this way: "In some areas of our city, there is no food stores. Corner stores are not fresh produce, and Food is so expensive these days, people can 't afford it anyway. It is a way to get fresh produce in the diet of people who otherwise would not get everything literally. "

SHARE, which stands for Self-Help and Resource Exchange, coordinates the distribution of the City of harvest produce to food cupboards. The Council for the Promotion of Health PA South provides placards with recipes and nutritional information on products are distributed.

Because of the weak economy, Wynn believes that more people will never shared this year's harvest. "It is ugly, and I fear that it will be uglier," she said.

Rowan feels good to know that the Sun and New Golden Girl tomatoes, jalapeno and habanero peppers, basil and oregano he tended eventually help people in need.

"We feed the homeless and people in shelters. This is a good deed and a good cause," he said.

Rowan is one of about 12 men and 10 women prisoners who work - in separate groups - inside the greenhouse or outside the prison in the half-acre organic garden. They are low-security prisoners, most service from 30 to 90 days for offences such as violation of probation or parole, drug use, or non-payment of child support or tickets parking.

Lisa Mosca, an instructor City Harvest, teaching them not only how to grow plants organically, but how to plan the next growing season, the fight against pests through planting sage, and enrich the soil off - season. It also launches in some basic math, resume writing and cooking.

"We cultivate and cook our vegetables here, too," Mosca said, pointing to the hoop adjacent house.

It helps.

"There is no charge things in prison," says Rowan, whose favorite dish is sauteed broccoli with cheese.

These May not sound like earth-life lessons, but correctional officer Tom O'Neal, who began prison at the beginning of the gardening program and now manages the greenhouse, insists they are.

"Life has not been targeted for these people," said O'Neal. "They learn on the propagation of plants, soil structure, a little botany, yes, but also on the work ethic and expand horizons."

The prisoners are fascinated by the symbiotic relationships that exist in nature, for example. "They love that aphids are enslaved by the ants. We tell them everything," said O'Neal, who grew up on a dairy farm in Bradford County, Pa.

And if the season take place in a place full of people obsessed with the passage of time. Rowan now knows the time of sowing and transplantation, when to plant, water and harvest.

More importantly, he knows he could be out of here soon. Maybe it will even make gardening and cooking when he gets home.

For the moment, there are the tomatoes to move from one pot to another.

"You can really get lost here," he said.

Contact gardening writer Virginia Smith at 215-854-5720 or vsmith@phillynews.com.
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We'll use your suggestion to improve translation quality in future updates to our system. Gardening for food, rehabilitation
City provides seed harvest; community gardeners tend; products goes to the needy.

Ginny Smith
Nicholas Rowan, a 22-year-old from Mayfair, is for violation of probation time. He does not want to tell the world about his first crime, and inside the greenhouse on grounds Philadelphia prison system in the north-east, it does not really matter.

It is coaxing tiny tomato plants on a little peat pots biggest called "six pack", and had it not been for his orange jumpsuit and officer correction in the corner, I look for all the world like any other gardener in the spring.

"We must be very mild," says Rowan, slowly lifting potted plants in another.

This week, under an innovative program called City Harvest, tomato transplants and thousands of other fruits, vegetables and herbal plants should be delivered to 30 community gardens around Philadelphia. There, they will be planted and maintained, the product harvested and finally returned to 30 food cupboards in local churches, community centers and high-and low-income apartment complex.

Last year, gardeners given 12000 pounds - six tons. This year, given rising food prices and increasingly necessary, they are in sight for 15000 pounds.

"We are all really just the idea of getting fresh vegetables to people who need food, especially a large number of elderly who are used d & # 39; have fresh produce, "says Don Nilsen of Powelton Village. Last year, he and four others in the summer of Winter Garden near the Drexel University delivered 237 pounds of greens, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers in a food cupboard at a church nearby.

Now in its third season, City Harvest is distinguished from other prison, community gardening, food distribution and nutrition education programs across the country insofar as it involves not only a or two of these elements, but all four.

"For us, there was enormous power in this idea," says Priscilla Luce, president of the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, which provided $ 500000 in grants to see the program in 2009. It is managed by Philadelphia Green, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's urban gardening initiative.

The idea came at the same time on several fronts.

First, in the late 1990, supporting foundations began in Philadelphia green insisting that his community gardens generate "greater aesthetic value beyond l & # 39; improvement of a parcel in the city, "said Joan M. Reilly, Philadelphia Green chief.

Several achievements followed: gardeners who were already informally share their abundant harvests, that gardening is increasingly used in workshops on healing the drug and rehabilitation of other institutions, and that rates for conditions such as obesity and diabetes are rising.

At the same time, the prison system was looking to revive its horticulture program, dormant since an electrical fire destroyed two-era Victorian greenhouses to the road on a complex ten years ago. Finally

has come more and more advocacy for "food security," the notion that all households, regardless of their income, should have access to sufficient increased safety, ' affordable and nutritious food.

Steveanna Wynn, executive director of SHARE non-profit, sees it this way: "In some areas of our city, there is no food stores. Corner stores are not fresh products, and food is so expensive these days, people can 't afford it anyway. It is a way to get fresh produce in the diet of people who otherwise would not get everything literally. "

SHARE, which stands for Self-Help and Resource Exchange, coordinates the distribution of the City of harvest produce to food cupboards. The Council for the Promotion of Health PA South provides placards with recipes and nutritional information on products are distributed.

Because of the weak economy, Wynn believes that more people will never shared this year's harvest. "It is ugly, and I fear that it will be uglier," she said.

Rowan feels good to know that the Sun and New Golden Girl tomatoes, jalapeno and habanero peppers, basil and oregano he tended eventually help people in need .

"We feed the homeless and people in shelters. It is a good deed and a good cause, "he said.

Rowan is one of about 12 men and 10 women prisoners who work - in separate groups - inside the greenhouse or outside the prison in half-acre organic garden. They are low-security prisoners, most service from 30 to 90 days for offences such as violation of probation or parole, drug use, or non-payment of child support or parking tickets.

Lisa Mosca, an instructor City Harvest, teaching them not only how to grow plants organically, but how to plan the next growing season, the fight against pests through planting sage, and d & # 39; enrich the soil off-season. It also launches in some basic math, resume writing and cooking.

"We cultivate and cook our vegetables here, too," Mosca said, pointing to the hoop adjacent house.

It helps.

"There is no charge things in prison," says Rowan, whose favorite dish is sauteed broccoli with cheese. These

May not sound like earth-life lessons, but correctional officer Tom O'Neal, who began prison at the beginning of the gardening program and now manages the greenhouse, insists they are .

"Life has not been targeted for these people," said O'Neal. "They learn on the propagation of plants, soil structure, a little botany, yes, but also on the work ethic and expand horizons."

Prisoners are fascinated by the symbiotic relationships that exist in nature, for example. "They love that aphids are enslaved by the ants. We tell them everything, "said O'Neal, who grew up on a dairy farm in Bradford County, Pa.

And if the season take place in a place full of people obsessed with the passage of time. Rowan now knows the time of sowing and transplantation, when to plant, water and harvest.

More importantly, he knows he could be out of here soon. Maybe it will even make gardening and cooking when he gets home.

Currently, there are the tomatoes to move from one pot to another.

"You can really get lost here," he said.

Contact gardening writer Virginia Smith at 215-854-5720 or vsmith@phillynews.com.
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