Green Reentry Job Training!

Garden Time was one of 16 organizations to receive a grant from the Central Providence Health Equity Zone, convened by ONE Neighborhood Builders. The grants, which provided up to $35,000 in funding each, will support a range of initiatives to help residents learn new skills, offer civic education and leadership training and tutor and mentor students. Read the Providence Business News article.

Thanks to One Neighborhood Builders & the Central Providence HEZ! 

Still Growing in Rhode Island Prisons

Dear Friends of Garden Time,
2020 wasn’t the year any of us expected but amid the pandemic, social unrest and election stress our gardens continued to grow. Our annual Seed Money fundraising campaign starts today. Please join us!

Make your gift of $20, $50, $100 or more to Garden Time today!

Volunteer workdays were cancelled but a group of teenagers who had extra time this summer built Garden Time a Reentry Community Garden at the OpenDoors Resource Center. Thanks to Angus, Edward, George, Graham and Supervisor Chad for all your hard work! A small group of volunteers and Garden Time graduates joined us to fill the beautiful raised garden beds with soil! We look forward to planting in the spring!

A Sense of Calm and Joy

“I feel a sense of calm and joy when I’m about to go out there and when I’m there. It’s different from other programs because you’re out in nature.” 

Dear Friends of Garden Time,
Prison gardens transform lives and YOU make gardens in Rhode Island prisons possible! Our annual Seed Money fundraising campaign runs until December 15th. Please join us! CLICK HERE to make your gift of $20, $50, $100 or more to Garden Time! We appreciate your support!

“I feel at peace with myself. I’m not stressed. It’s quiet in the garden. There I make a difference, not only to the group but also to the plants I tend. It is a truly wonderful place. I wish I could share with everyone.”
“The garden has helped me calm down and be at peace with myself because in the few hours we spend in the garden I’m not in prison. I’m free. I can think clearly. I can make a difference to people by growing stuff they’ll eat. And I can nurture life to my plants. This experience taught me to be more patient in my life.”
“When I work in the garden, I feel good knowing that I’m learning something that I can use to give back once I’m given a second chance.”

“I feel serene whenever I’m in the garden. If I could spend all day here I would. It’s my therapy, I get lost in my thoughts while I’m working on the tomatoes. The rest of the time and activities while incarcerated are stressful.” 
“I keep coming back to the program because this program and the instructors make me feel human again. Getting dirty, pulling weeds is the next thing to ‘mental freedom’.”
“I care more about the little things. It also has shown me that a lot of things are connected together. How people, plants, insects and the elements all work together to help each other get what they need. By me seeing this and understanding my role in it, it’s allowed me to see myself in society and the different role that I have to play.”

Signs of Spring in Rhode Island Prison Gardens

Happy Spring! We are busy planning for the season, cleaning up garden beds, and hoping to plant spinach and arugula this week. As we begin our ninth year at the men’s maximum-security facility and our sixth year at the men’s medium-security facility at the Rhode Island Adult Correctional Institutions, we want to thank you for your continued support and share some good news…

Garden Time received two generous grants to support the Garden Time-To-Work program! Last year we laid the groundwork for adding a post-release component to the program by connecting to local apprenticeship programs and securing the RI DOC’s permission to support graduates as they transition to life beyond prison. HUGE THANKS to the Rhode Isand Foundation and the Burpee Foundation for making this program expansion possible. We look forward to seeing great things from our graduates (See below for one success story!)

In addition to funding, we are grateful for the in-kind donations that keep us growing! Our students were excited to see the variety and quantity of seeds donated from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Lake Valley Seed, and Park Seed Company. Thanks to them for keeping our material costs low!

Watch Tre Maison Dasan streaming on the PBS website for the month of April!This award-winning documentary follows three boys whose parents are incarcerated in Rhode Island–and two of the parents featured are our gardeners! Tyree is in the Garden Time-To-Work program and Stephanie has graduated and gone on to great success. She and Dasan have been traveling to film festivals to discuss the movie, and she is working at the Nonviolence Institute, was selected as a New Leaders Council fellow, and wrote a children’s book to help children of incarcerated parents understand they are not alone. The Resilient Mr. Ball is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. We are so proud of Stephanie and her accomplishments!

Happy Spring and, as always, THANKS for your support!
Kate Lacouture, Co-founder & Executive Director, Garden Time, Inc.
Vera Bowen, Co-founder & Board President, Garden Time, Inc.

Growing Food and Futures in Rhode Island Prisons

Dear Friends of Garden Time,

Sunshine, Determination, and YOU keep our gardens growing at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections! Together we ensure that incarcerated men and women are able to be productive, hopeful, growing human beings.

Click HERE to make your annual gift of $20, $50, $100 or more to Garden Time!

“Not too many people give us a chance but here, in the garden, we’re just normal people, being productive, learning new skills, and bringing life to the earth.” – a gardener at Max

This year, your gifts prepared medium-security inmates in the Garden Time-To-Work program for the transition to the outside world. Your donations enabled maximum-security inmates to continue to grow food for themselves and their facility kitchen. Your continued support keeps us planting gardens and planning future growth!

Join us again this year as we use the Seed Money platform to grow Garden Time to new heights for the 2019 season. The drive ends on December 15th, so please make your gift today! Click HERE to go to our Seed Money Campaign and donate $20, $50, $100 or more to Garden Time! If you’d rather make a tax-deductible donation by check to Garden Time, send it to 286 Rochambeau Ave, Providence, RI 02906.

RI DOH Climate Change mini grant

From the Rhode Island Department of Health: This past summer, the Climate Change Program was able to award 10 mini grants for community resiliency projects around the state. The results from our 10 grantees are in, and some wonderful projects were created. We have summarized all the great work into an ESRI Story Map which we invite you to explore and share.

Garden Time was a recipient of a RI DOH Climate Change mini grant! See the flyer our students created HERE.


Happy Earth Day!

As we wait for spring to warm up, we offer you a SPRING MATCHING CHALLENGE! Make a donation to Garden Time and a generous donor will match it up to $2,000. We only have until the end of April to raise this match, so don’t wait–celebrate Earth Day by making your donation count twice!


Learn how your gift makes a difference in the lives of incarcerated individuals in this 2-MINUTE VIDEO ABOUT GARDEN TIME, filmed last fall at the medium- and maximum-security facilities as part of the Scotts Foundation’s #GardenStories Video Series.

As you can see, Garden Time students know that every day is Earth Day! Your gift helps them grow organic produce for their kitchens; support pollinators and birds with plant choices; form strong connections to the natural world; and study the environmental issues that affect us all.

by making a donation that will be matched dollar-for-dollar!

2017 Seed Money Campaign


Dear Friends of Garden Time,
Last year when we asked for your help to fund our programs and grow hope, confidence, and futures at the RI Adult Correctional Institutions, you blew us away with your generosity. Join us again this year as we use the Seed Money platform to grow Garden Time to new heights for the 2018 season.

Click HERE to make your annual gift of $20, $100, or more to Garden Time!

Your gift will ensure that Garden Time programs continue for another year. The Seed Money drive ends on Friday, December 15th, so please visit our Seed Money Campaign at to learn more about Garden Time and make your gift now. If you’d rather make a tax-deductible donation by check to Garden Time, send it to 286 Rochambeau Ave, Providence, RI 02906.

Your gift means the world to us and to the men and women gardening in our programs right now. Thanks always for your support!

Garden Time-To-Work

Garden Time has a $25,000 FUNDRAISING GOAL for 2017 to develop and pilot “Garden Time-To-Work”, a garden-based vocational training program at the Men’s Medium Security Facility. While acquiring expertise in horticulture, agriculture, and landscaping, students in the program will develop critical 21st-century learning skills and workforce readiness that will benefit them in a broad range of employment situations.

Contact to learn more about supporting this project.