Inmates at Dixon Springs Impact Incarceration Program have dabbled with gardening since 2003. But now, gardening has become a full-scale production with 3 acres of cultivated produce yielding pounds by the hundreds. And much of the prison grounds have been landscaped, including an outdoor area where graduations are conducted. Twenty female inmates tend the produce gardens where an assortment of vegetables from green leafy products to staples such as potatoes and corn are grown. There are also cantaloupe and watermelon. A major distribution avenue has been established with product going to senior citizens, homeless shelters, food pantries and school districts in Vienna and Harrisburg. Garden produce is used also to feed the inmates who range in age from 18 to 35 and have committed nonviolent offenses. The 120 to 180 day sentences, if successfully completed, replace prison terms.
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