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How Have We Impacted the Women Inside?

Recently, the women inside CIW who have participated in gardening sessions and educational workshops offered by Cultivating Dreams were asked to participate in a survey. The following are a few direct quotes from the women inside:Why do you participate in the garden project?

“Eating healthy is important and always has been. When I get out, I want to have an organic garden and the information I receive will be extremely useful at that time.”

“To participate in producing nutritious foods (esp. vegetables) that can be distributed for all CIW inmate consumption. Also to get more exercise.”

How has the project affected you?

“The garden has encouraged me personally to appreciate the results of hard work-digging and weeding, and then seeing the beautiful veggies materialize. Very uplifting and emotionally satisfying.””I find the garden relaxing and very spiritual. The volunteers help us stay connected to the outside. By being allowed to garden it helps me feel as though I am returning something.”

“The garden will give me time to help and be help.”

“I look forward to when I can use all the great information I have learned when I parole. I look forward to each and every group with the outside college students.”

From “additional comments” section:

“I’ve been here 22 years and lived a pretty clean lifestyle outside of prison. The food here was never really all that good but the quality and variety have gone steadily downhill. I try to supplement my prison diet with the few healthy items I can find in the prison catalogs. I still seem to be okay.”

“Many of the inmates who are here have suffered a great deal. I feel that by getting them more involved they may feel better about themselves. Also for some religions such as mine it is essential to stay connected to the earth we worship outside rather than in a building. Having a garden to pray in would benefit many.”

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