Posted by Graduate Research Associate Carl Elliot
The nursery infrastructure (greenhouse, hoophouse, water, power) and the original garden area at Stafford Creek Correction Center is being moved across the central facilities area this month. At first this task may seem a bit demoralizing, deconstructing buildings and digging up growing plants to only leave empty space behind. However, the offenders remain upbeat and active, carefully tending to the transplants and picking out their favorite flowers and vegetables to relocate. The promise of more room for the gardens and nursery, as well as an updated infrastructure, is an added incentive to get them through the hard work. The cool maritime cloud layer that has been especially persistent this year helps minimize transplant shock for both people and plants.
The moving process not only adds to the physical workload, but also has provided intellectual challenges for the offenders. A number of them have contributed to the design and layout of the new garden, as well as providing detailed design assistance with the greenhouse. They are making sure the internal drainage system is improved, the water supply system is more efficient, and that the movement of materials such as flats and finished plants takes less work and physical strain.
The staff and offenders have put in a lot of hours above and beyond the call of duty to make sure this late summer move is an opportunity and not a loss.