Bringing hands-on garden-based education to Oregon Incarcerated students.
Did You Know?
U.S. inmates are six times more likely to suffer malnourishment or contract a foodborne illness than the general population. Meanwhile, 91% of U.S. inmates re-entering society report food insecurity at home.
What We Do
By bringing hands-on garden-based classes and workshops to incarcerated adult and Juvenile students, we create positive experiences which can aid existing health outcomes and support successful reentry into society.
How We Do It
In partnership with the Department of Corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, The Lettuce Grow program designs hands-on garden-based classes and workshops for Oregon Incarcerated students. The produce generated in our learning gardens supplements nutrition for incarcerated people on the inside and participants earn professional credentials and skills that aid their successful re-entry to society on the outside.
OSU Extension Service Seed to Supper Class
Our introductory class is a basic 6-week vegetable gardening class developed by the Oregon Food Bank and Oregon State University.
OSU Sustainable Gardening Class
Upon completing this 16-week freshman college class, the student receives a Certificate of Home Horticulture from OSU Extension Service, a recognized job credential in the state of Oregon.
Developed in Partnership with Chemeketa Community College, this 11-week class provides students with an overview of greenhouse design, structures, and operations. An important skill set as more production moves into greenhouses.
Plant Disease Diagnostic Training
Through this 6-week course, students receive hands-on plant diagnostic training, an important skill set in the horticulture field. Based on OSU material, this course was developed by 2 program participants/tutors at Eastern Oregon state correctional facility.
Culinary Arts Class
Developed with input from local restaurants and newly revised (post-COVID) This class provides students with the skill set to find employment in the culinary field.
Hear directly from Lettuce Grow participant Michele Piercy as she recounts her experience as a participant of the Lettuce Grow program at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.
The Oregon Department of Corrections recognizes Lettuce Grow as one of the most successful and cost-effective programs offered in the state. A key indicator of our program's success is our recidivism rate (the number of participants in the Oregon state prison system who return to prison after release).
75% of inmates in the U.S. will return to prison.
30% of inmates in Oregon will return to prison.
4% of Lettuce Grow participants will return to prison.
Get The Fact Sheet
The Lettuce Grow program teaches participants new organizational and problem-solving skills, focusing deeply on teamwork and cooperation. This helps inmates build positive relationships among staff, incarcerated students, and people outside the correctional system.
As part of the Lettuce Grow program, participants also earn recognized job credentials and opportunities for horticulture internships and degrees upon release. This goes a long way toward increasing hope and self-esteem for inmates who may otherwise end up back in the prison system.
To learn more about our proven success record, download our most recent fact sheet below.Get The Fact Sheet
Follow the links to learn more about the powerful programs we offer at Growing Gardens.
Our Pre-K -12th grade Youth Grow curriculum gets children in the garden to learn about nature, nutrition, and food system sustainability.
Our Home Gardens program provides individuals with the training and resources they need to cultivate healthy culturally relevant produce to feed their families.