Long Creek Green Growers
The following narrative was written by an incarcerated youth at Long Creek Development Center and edited by a teacher:
We have an organic gardening program, the Long Creek Green Growers, at Long Creek Youth Development Center (LCYDC), which is a place where kids who’ve been in trouble with the law come and try to fix their behavior. The program is one of the best classes in the A. R. Gould School-- the school inside LCYDC—and it combines a mathematics and science curriculum. We need financing, however, so we can keep it going every year all year round.
In the 2013 growing season, the youth at LCYDC learned a lot about how to plant, cultivate, and harvest different vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruit. We learned valuable skills for growing and making our own food and taking care of ourselves when we transition back to the community after leaving LCYDC.
The goals of the Long Creek Green Growers are:
- To increase knowledge of gardening and encourage youth to bring their gardening skills when they transition back to the community
- To provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the youth and staff to eat at the facility
- To learn about botany and mathematics in an authentic, hands-on way
- To make the environment better—to help the earth and improve the soil
- To reach out to the community and cultivate greater community involvement, such as parents and volunteers
Now that the 2013 growing season has ended, we have continued our program inside—learning how to grow hydroponically and planning our 2014 season. We seek funding from the Sow It Forward Grant so we can build a greenhouse (we’ve already made the foundation) and offset the cost of seeds, seedlings, and tools, which were purchased for us in 2013 by our teacher and through donations.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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Kitchen Gardeners International
3 Powderhorn Drive,
Scarborough, ME, 04074, USA