Over the last several years, Walton County Jail and the Walton Correctional Institution State Prison have been feeding inmates with fresh vegetables right from the their back yard. Currently with 14 acres and five to seven more in the works, the garden program has been a success.
The Walton County Sheriff’ Office took over management of the county jail last year and the project has been accelerating according to the garden’s crew supervisor Section Commander Lt. Oscar Jiggetts.
“We would like it for one day be a self sustaining source,” said Jiggetts.
The 2014/2015 harvest includes potatoes, turnip greens, broccoli, squash, corn, carrots, and rutabaga to name a few. The harvested vegetables are consumed fresh along with blanching methods to freeze for future consumption.
The Walton County Jail partners with the State of Florida Dept. of Corrections on the garden project. Most of the work done is with manual labor with inmates who volunteer for the outside work planting and harvesting.
“Roughly $600 – $700 is saved each week. The bottom line is to save taxpayer dollars,” said Major Brian Schultz, Director of Jail Operations.
“It’s also a good supplement with no preservatives,” Schultz continued.
Schultz said the project is going well and most everyone prefers eating fresh vegetables in lieu of the canned alternative.