It’s a ministry that scatters seeds of hope for incarcerated people. Madison Christian Community, an ecumenical partnership between Advent Lutheran Church (ELCA) and Community of Hope (UCC) in Madison, WI, works with a nearby correctional facility to offer a restorative justice-based horticulture program in its 6000 square foot garden. “The garden ministry is one way to bridge the racial, economic and social barriers that exist between people today,” according to Rev. Jeff Wild, Pastor of Advent Lutheran Church. Inmates are part of a horticulture class in which they sow the seeds for the garden and tend them as they grow into seedlings. When the seedlings are ready for planting, the inmates in the class take a field trip to Madison Christian Community, where they spend a day tending the garden where their seedlings will be planted. Members from the church welcome them with homemade baked goods as well as shade-grown, fair-trade coffee. “This coffee is much preferred to the institutional coffee they are served,” said Wild.
The church facility and garden ministry are connected by water. Rainwater from the roof of the sanctuary fills four 300-gallon tanks. Water flows through underground tubing to the garden, where slow drip irrigation hoses are placed among the vegetation. Money for the cost of seeds and other garden supplies is raised through the sale of Father Dom’s Duck Doo, a locally produced compost consisting of “duck doo, cranberries and other good stuff,” according to Wild.Contact: Madison Christian Community
Contact: Rev. Jeff Wild
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