With official certification, 26 inmates from Chicago's Cook County Jail are now "Master Gardeners" and have gained some pretty ritzy clients, myFOXchicago.com reported late Thursday.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart certified the inmates at a ceremony Thursday morning with some of the city's top chefs present.

The program allows low-risk inmates to garden in the hope they will be able to rejoin the workforce upon release. It has been going on for 17 years, and up to this point, the produce has always been donated to food banks.

But now restaurants like Charlie Trotters, a regular on international best restaurant lists, and trendy gastropub Publican will start buying the wares -- including pumpkins, melons, herbs and peppers -- too.

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