FORT MADISON – A random trip to a St Louis Farmer’s Market resulted in a new venture with high nutritional impact for Iowa State Penitentiary.
Sarah Rippenkroeger, a Correctional Trades Leader, came across Microgreens, tried them and thought they would be a great addition to the greenhouses located at the ISP Warehouse.
Microgreens are considered high in antioxidants and range in size from one to three inches. They can grow in as little as three weeks and are produced from various kinds of vegetables and herbs. Some microgreens can regrow after harvesting.
In the next few weeks, the ISP greenhouse plans on growing onions, asparagus as well as tomatoes, lettuce and numerous other vegetables. The microgreens are sent inside to the ISP kitchen where they are washed and prepared to be included in meals.
There were three individuals who are minimum-outs workers who assisted in the construction of the greenhouse as well as the planting and harvesting of the greens.
Providing hands-on educational opportunities for incarcerated individuals gives them valuable tools for returning to society. Couple those tools with the positive experiences of working in a greenhouse environment and a sense of accomplishment, growing microgreens becomes a win-win for everyone.
The greenhouse also will be growing flowers that will be used around the grounds in the spring