Rich Larsen, Wabash Valley Correctional Facility
CARLISLE -- A couple plots of land, lots of donated seeds and tons of hard work is reaping big results for the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility(WVCF) 2016 garden project!
Over 6,435 pounds of produce has been picked so far by volunteer offender workers from the facility PLUS (Purposeful Living Units Serve) unit. Seven area food pantries have been distributing the fresh vegetables to those in need.
“Folks needing food gave the pantries ideas about what we should plant in our two gardens, said WVCF Community Services Director Breanna Trimble. So, using seeds and plants given to us by Mayall’s Greenhouse (Knox County),our offender workers planted squash, zucchini, bell peppers, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, watermelon and pumpkins.”
Wabash Valley also added potatoes to the planting mix this year along with the fertilizers needed to make the gardens grow.
WVCF Captain Eric Brewer said the group really takes pride in the garden project, adding, “This benefits the public and lets our offenders give back to the community in a very helpful and nutritional way.”
The gardens are located within the fences of the maximum-security facility. Captain Brewer and WVCF Caseworker Travis Davis oversee the garden project, now in its third year of giving.
Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) Commissioner Bruce Lemmon planted the seeds of encouragement for IDOC facilities to create gardens, helping the less fortunate and instilling pride of accomplishment for offender workers.
The WVCF garden benefits food pantries in Knox, Greene, Sullivan and Vigo Counties. The pumpkins will be given to youngsters attending the WVCF Fatherhood Fall Festival this weekend.