By Jane Tewson
Igniting Change has helped the inmates at Hobart Risdon Prison to buy seeds for a unique project which is helping to produce thousands of kilos of vegetables that are being donated to families in need!!
Inmates at the minimum security prison are using their time productively at “Norms Paddock”, set in the pristine Tasmanian environment to grow fresh, nutritious food which is then distributed by Second Bite to families and communities throughout Tasmania who are struggling to put fresh food on the table. Crops produced so far by the inmates include pumpkins, corn, lettuce, radish, spring onion, beans, peas and tomatoes, all of which found their way to a dinner table nearby gone to SecondBite for delivery to local food programs. SecondBite exists to provide access to fresh, nutritious food for people in need across Australia. With support these prisoners are turning what could easily have been time wasted into something that is of great value not only to the those who receive the outcomes of their work, but also to themselves as the people who grow and give.
Below, Steve Graham shares more bout this fantastic initiative.
Our Community Garden
After a large crop of peas, beans, corn, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, pumpkin, celery and apples we are now looking to prepare for a new planting season. We also have plans to create a large poly tunnel to help keep the frost off vegetables and increase the growing season. This has been made possible by Igniting Change donors and will have a significant effect of the growing season by adding a month earlier and a month later to the growing time. At present it is taking shape in the minimum prison and being constructed by our gardener inmates.
Our Gardener’s made a big impact with garlic this year growing Australian and New Zealand varieties. Tino from Gardening Australia visited and was impressed with the quality, growth and size of the crop which filled many crates for SecondBite.
Our new rotary hoe has arrived and the old girl nicknamed Rhonda was gratefully retired and the new Rosie has been very busy preparing beds and digging. We have continued development of both Norms Paddock and the garden inside Ron Barwick Minimum Security Prison to increase production, but to also maintain the high quality fruit and vegetables produced.
The garden attracts a lot of visitors and comments include that people were unaware of the giving back community service activities in prison, and what great quality fruit and vegatables. We are really happy with this and would like to thank our supporters Igniting Change and the donors they represent as they make it all possible.
- Steve Graham