The Kalamazoo County Jail Garden is being planted for 2018 and will once again give certain inmates a productive and educational activity during the summer months. The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office says low risk inmates will work for 8 hours a day on the garden under supervision. It gives them the opportunity to learn valuable skills and knowledge about vegetable gardening. This years crop so far includes okra, rutabaga, tomatoes, peppers, acorn squash and butternut squash.

When the crops are harvested, they will provide fresh vegetables for the inmate population and also reduce food costs at the jail. Last year the produce harvested from the inmate worker garden saved Kalamazoo County more than $600 in food costs. Food is added to soups, salads, processed, or frozen for later use. An additional 900 pounds of food was donated to Loaves and Fishes.

This is an excellent educational program for the inmate garden workers, as well as the inmates who work in the kitchen, who may never have seen or consumed some of the vegetables harvested from our gardens. Without the support of our local businesses and greenhouses, the jail garden would not be possible. County funding for this endeavor is very limited. We are appreciative of the donations from Russell Farms, Wenke Greenhouse, Kalamazoo Land Bank, Loaves and Fishes, Saunders Greenhouse and the MSU Extension Office. - Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office Facebook page