Gardening helps transform a Missoula teenager

Aug 2, 2013

17-year-old Jesse Linton of Missoula has changed a lot over the past couple of years.

Not too long ago Linton says he went through a rebellious phase; some partying, intentionally irritating neighbors late at night - got a few tickets along the way too. He moved out of his house and couch-surfed for over two years before moving back in with his mom.

Jesse Linton (top right) at one of Garden City Harvest's Mobile Market sites
Credit Laurie Bridgeman

It was a tough time and he says he was mostly just looking for some attention - even if it was the negative kind of attention.
      Things weren't going so well at his high school either, so Linton decided to attend Missoula's Willard Alternative High School which happens to have a school garden.
    His teacher saw how well he did in that little garden and suggested he apply to work with The Garden City Harvest Youth Harvest Project. Garden City Harvest is a local non-profit that grows produce with - and for - people with low-incomes and offers education and training in what it calls "ecologically conscious agriculture".
     In tonight's feature interview with Edward O'Brien, Linton explains how that one little high school gardening class proved to be a pivotal turning point in his life.