Jail Industries Demonstration Garden
Jail Industries growing Sonoma Superstars!
Jail Industries is propagating and growing the Sonoma County Master Gardener Superstar plants--many of which are planted in the demo garden. These plants will surely become more and more popular across Sonoma County.
The Jail Industries Demonstration Garden was a joint project of the Sonoma County Master Gardeners and Jail Industries of Sonoma County, supported by the Sonoma County Water Agency which donated both funds and in-kind goods. The project was initiated completed the garden opened in spring, 2007.
Jail Industries grows edible plants for the Sonoma County Jail kitchens as well as several local food programs, and ornamental plants for county facilities and for sale. The Jail Industries program is a partnership between the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department and the Sonoma County Office of Education. Its purpose is to provide rehabilitation and training for inmates who are eligible to volunteer for
work at the nursery during the last 6 months of their term.
The purpose of the Demonstration Garden is several-fold: first as an expanded teaching tool for the inmates to learn about the design process and water-conserving gardening methods; as a model for frequent visitors to see inmates' skills and results of the training program; as "mother stock" for propagating California natives and other drought tolerant plants; and as a showcase for gardeners coming to purchase plants from the Jail Industries nursery.
The 2800 square foot Demonstration Garden incorporates three key design elements: California native plants; water-efficiency and conservation; plants and ideas for lawn alternatives. There are five main garden areas: The Meadow, Shady Grove, Mediterranean Circle, Butterfly Garden, and Hummingbird Haven. California natives comprise 68% of the plants, and the remainder are mostly Mediterranean. Almost 98% of the plants are drought resistant, and virtually all the plants could be used, one way or another, as lawn substitutes.
The site plan for the Garden illustrates these components.
The Master Gardener design team, shown below, consisted of Sandy Metzger, Project Leader, Mary Barclay, Linda King, Pat Rhoades, Patricia Rossi, and Gloria Whiteley.
Patricia Rossi, Gloria Whiteley, Sandy Metzger, Linda King, Pat Rhoades, Mary Barclay
The Jail Industries Nursery includes acres of vegetables, the nursery with its 10 greenhouses filled with more than 200 varieties of perennials, annuals, grasses, bulbs, vines, and ground covers in flats, gallons, and up to 24" boxed trees. It is located further north on Ordinance Road, on the right just before the Charles M. Schulz -Sonoma County Airport. The public may purchase plants at the nursery Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on an appointment-only basis by first calling 525-8310. Payment is by check only.
The garden under construction: