Inmate-Grown Vegetable Garden Trims $15G From Food Budget

A vegetable garden tended by inmates at the Hopkins County Jail helped trim the food budget at the facility by $15,000 this year.

The Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday cited the savings as one of several reasons the jail received special recognition at the annual Farm-City Breakfast.

Hopkins County Jailer Joe Blue tells The Messenger of Madisonville that he started the program in 2006 with little planning. He said 2011 was a very good year.

The jail started a master gardener training program this year, graduating 10 inmates. Blue says the program helps give different kinds of job skills to inmates, many who are from the cities of Louisville or Lexington and don't know anything about agriculture.

One local business donates fertilizer for the garden, and another provides seeds at reduced prices.