edible MANHATTAN: Growing New Lives – Rikers Island

THE IDEA FACTORY:
Growing New Lives

First published in the July-August 2013 edition of Edible Manhattan

| July 4, 2013 | By  | Photographs by Lindsay Morris

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A gardening program on the largest penal colony in the world.

On an island in the East River not far from LaGuardia, down a dirt trail leading to a shed, past a table strewn with plant cuttings, a doorway opens out onto a glass greenhouse. In the gentle humidity of teeming plant life, long tables are topped with tray after black-plastic tray of thriving seedlings—tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, string beans, thyme, basil, rosemary—and their self-declared caregiver, Wayne.

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