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Gardening inside St. Louis’ Medium Security Institution

July 8, 2010 Environment, Urban Food Systems 1 Comment

In March I visited St. Louis’ Medium Security Institution (Unexpected green on St. Patrick’s Day) to check out the installation of some garden plots.

ABOVE: MSI garden plots, March 2010
ABOVE: MSI garden plots, March 2010

Prisoners would volunteer to do the work with the food donated to local food pantries, per the requirements of the grant.  You heard about MSI recently:

Two 17-year-old prisoners, Eric Glenn Gray and Kurt Michael Wallace, escaped from the Workhouse in North St. Louis early Wednesday morning. They were apprehended late that afternoon. Gray and Wallace were discovered hiding in a vacant house in the 5900 block of Wabada at 5:45 p.m. and arrested without further incident. (Source)

So I inquired as to the status of the garden plots.

ABOVE: garden plots at MSI, Photo by Charles Bryson
ABOVE: garden plots at MSI July 2010, Photo by Charles Bryson

I was pleased to see pics of the items growing in the plots.  Conditions are less than ideal, inmates don’t stay long, watering is not easy, etc.

The area where they are gardening is quite large — I can picture a large gardening operation.  This would require intensive square foot gardening and drip irrigation.  I’d like to see the inmates grow much of their own food.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. bev says:

    The guy who installed my rainbarrel said that he installed an 8-barrel system at the community garden in Normandy because there was no water available for irrigation. They could look in to a similar system for rainwater collection that is on-site and makes watering the garden easier.


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