WANTED: Gardeners not Prisoners


There are more full time prisoners in America than full time farmers according to Bill McKibben in his latest book, Oil and Honey. I want to help change that. The farmer and writer, Masanobu Fukuoka best explains why. “Farming is the cultivation of better human beings.”
‘Better’ to me means being more compassionate, productive and healthy. ‘Better’ to me means not being a financial burden to society. ‘Better’ to me means being more integrated into a community capable of sustaining itself in times of economic and/or environmental crisis.
Following is a proposed community action project designed to address this concern. Specific project decisions will be made by consensus and in compliance with Broome County Corrections Administration requirements.

County Jail Gardening Project

In a time when people with college degrees struggle to get gainful employment, it is obvious how difficult it must be for an applicant with a conviction in their record to get a job. This, in addition to the fact that our nation’s incarceration rate often leads the world, disturbs me a lot. Great human resources are lost as too many unlucky men and women are being both economically and socially disadvantaged by the current system. This project is designed to reduce this waste of human capital by building mutually beneficial relationships between non incarcerated and incarcerated members toward a more resilient community.
Our project’s mission is to build human resources through gardening activities that join incarcerated with non incarcerated community members. Beautification, job training and growing community resilience are the goals of the project.
If you’re a gardener or want to learn how to garden and are interested in social justice community action at the Broome County Corrections Facility, please get back me at 607 797 9126. After preliminary application and I.D. checks are done, a four hour security orientation session (sometime in May or early June) is required. If you want to help build community in a new and sustainable way, this project is for you.


Scroll to Top