The program continued to blossom recently as vegetables grown at the jail were donated to area food banks.
"They take pride in their gardens and helping others," Grudek said.
The program so far has involved trustee Troy Lewis, who takes care of two garden tracts at the county facility. Lewis grows corn, cucumbers, okra, squash, tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cantelope and other vegetables that he picks on a daily basis for distribution at local food banks throughout Carroll County.
"It feels good to contribute," Lewis said. "I've worked in the garden for two years and it's expanded. This year the crops are better and we're able to give away more food."
Lewis, as well as Walt Noftsger the county facility maintenance supervisor,, and Lt. Archie Rousey have taken the vegetables to Loaves And Fishes Food Bank of the Ozarks in Berryville, and on Wednesday took a truck load to the Bethel Baptist in Green Forest, which serves as the city's food bank. Future endeavors include adding the Eureka Springs food bank, as well.
The project was started on a smaller scale with just a few plants, but Noftsger says its been growing ever since.
"Normally we go buy seeds at the local businesses in Berryville and it's really taken off," he added. "In fact the Kiwanis Club, was here the other day taking pictures and looking around at the project."
Also, the garden has been helpful in supplementing the inmate food supply at the jail.
"It's a terrific idea," Rousey said. "Not only does it supplement our food costs, it helps the community. Last year was the first time we worked with the food banks, and this year we plan on making more trips with this bumper crop we have."
Jimmy Jones donated the soil and Pam Webb supplied chicken litter as fertilizer for the gardens.
"We're serving up a lot of vegetables these days," Rousey added. "And it's saving us money and we're able to help out the county food banks at the same time."
Lewis said that he has used a catch and release system to rid the garden of harmful pests.
"I've caught a few groundhogs and racoons and released them in other places," Lewis said. "For the most part, we don't have many problems with animals eating our crops."