The plant sale at Hiland Mountain Correctional Center is an event that some people wait all year for. Not just the people who come to buy beautiful hanging baskets but the inmates who grow them, as well.
The sale has been going on for at least 20 years, according to Superintendent Gloria Johnson.
Most of the work takes place months ahead of time in the greenhouse. Inmates start the plants from seed, tend them for many months and do everything it takes until they are ready for sale to the public.
Greenhouse manager Cindy Galvan, who is also an inmate, said the greenhouse is a place where she’s seen women with no skills start work then leave with something they can be proud of.
“Some of these women have never worked in a greenhouse before,” said Galvan. “They’ve learned how to plant seeds and how to water and how to trim and how to cut back and to grow these things.”
Galvan said her only regret is that inmates on the greenhouse crew, herself included, can’t actually attend the sale. Most have custody levels that don’t allow them to mix with the public or go outside the prison fence. Still, she said, she’s proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish and that work is on display for all to see.
The plant sale features more than 700 hanging baskets, a record, as well as vegetables and house plants. Most of the baskets sell for $45. Money raised goes back into the prison greenhouse program.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday or possibly Friday– if there are any plants left over.
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