Posted July 18, 2022
For the past two years, Catholic Charities has had a relationship with the Grafton Correctional Institution. In 2020, a group of inmates proposed that they be allowed to grow a garden for the benefit of the hungry and homeless served by Catholic Charities.
The inmates saw this as a good opportunity for them to give back to the community. Catholic Charities obtains the plants and garden supplies for the garden.
At the institution, it is required for every inmate to hold a job during their sentence, so the garden is taken care of by those who would like to volunteer their extra time.
In 2021, the inmates provided Catholic Charities with over 3,000 lbs. of vegetables. This year, the garden was expanded to three times the original size. The goal of the inmates this year is to provide Catholic Charities with 10,000 lbs. of vegetables.
President and CEO Patrick Gareau found Boyert's Greenhouse and Farm and asked if they would be able to fill an order for a list of about 1,500 plants and seeds for this project.
“They [the inmates] had a two-page request… They had like 5 or 6 types of tomatoes… I searched online for different garden centers and found this place called ‘Boyert's’. If you look at their webpage, they have so many varieties,” Gareau said.
Boyert's is a family-owned business that has been around since 1985 and has been growing ever since. The greenhouse is open year-round supplying various types of plants like perennials, annuals, house plants, vegetables, and more.
Gareau contacted one of the owners, Patti Boyert, and was able to get all requested items filled except for one variety of pepper plants.
“I went back, and they had everything ready to go. I then approached Patti’s husband, Mike, and was ready to pay for the plants. Mike said, ‘We’re donating the whole thing’, Gareau said. “What a wonderful thing, I was actually speechless.” Mike pointed his finger up to the sky and said, “this is the right thing to do”.
Catholic Charities’ Medina County office has also had a relationship with Boyert's for a couple of years now and has donated multiple plants to supply their garden plot. The produce that is grown at the plot helps stock the food shelf at the office with fresh produce.
A big thank you to Patti and Mike Boyert, and the staff at Boyert's Greenhouse and Farm for contributing plants and seeds to Catholic Charities to help us serve those in need throughout the diocese, and for giving the men of Grafton Correctional Institution an opportunity to serve others in a meaningful way.
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