Sarah Patterson

Streaming Media

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26 minutes


Gardens -- Prisons -- Oregon, Organic farming, Sustainability


Interview of Sarah Patterson by Diane Mahon in Portland, Oregon on July 29th, 2009.

The interview index is available for download.


Sarah Patterson is the founder and director of Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation. She is an attorney and master gardener. She has been doing volunteer work with prison populations for over 15 years.


Sarah Patterson is interviewed regarding the Lettuce Grow Foundation, a sustainable organic garden at Coffee Creek Prison. She speaks about the project from idea stage, through planning stages, donations, volunteers, work crews, and incorporating the foods grown into the prison kitchen. At the time of the interview, the plans included a certification program for the participating gardener inmates to receive organic farm assistant certification, potentially assisting them in finding a job upon release. She addresses training programs associated with the garden (Seeds to Table training), that is now being taught at the prison. Security issues regarding gardening inside of a prison situation are also discussed. Future planning for crops centers around what the kitchen wants, rather than what the gardeners would like to plant. Composting issues at the prison, tools for the garden and how the garden was tilled for planting are also a part of the discussion.

This interview is part of “The Sustainability History Project: Documenting Sustainable Development and Practice in the Pacific Northwest” at Portland State University.


This digital access copy is made available as streaming media for personal, educational, and non-commercial use within the parameters of “fair use” as defined under U.S. Copyright law. It cannot be reproduced, distributed, or broadcasted for commercial purposes. For more information, please contact Special Collections at Portland State University Library at: or (503) 725-9883.

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