Trying to beat a drug addiction is a huge challenge. Trying to detox whilst serving a prison sentence can be even more complex. But sometimes the simple things in life can help to make the difference…
Offenders recovering from substance misuse at HMP Rye Hill, Rugby, have been taking part in our first Garden Organic Master Gardener Programme to run in a prison. Robin Baxter was chosen to lead this project, launched in May, last year, and he wanted to get the men involved excited about the prospect of growing their own food from the start. So on his first visit, Robin bought along a bag of home-grown salad for them to try. Now you may think this would hold little attraction for a group of men with addictions to illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine, but this wasn’t the case at all.
“I invited the lads to taste all of the different leaves,” says Robin. “There was sorrell, pea shoots, dill, parsley and dozen different varieties of lettuce. They were instantly hooked and wanted to know how to grow them themselves. If I had to pick a top leaf of the year, it would definitely be sorrel. If you have been using substances for years it can dull your senses, but sorrel has a sharp, clean, fresh taste that the lads love.”
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