The Hopkins County Jail has taken a gardening program for inmates to a new level by adding a small orchard. Jailer Joe Blue says inmates enrolled in a Master Gardener program have planted 30 apple trees on a quarter-acre site near the jail.
Blue tells The Messenger he decided to try the orchard after a vegetable garden he started for inmates in 2006 showed so much success. He says produce from the garden is used to offset the cost of feeding inmates; anything extra is donated to local charities. Blue says he hopes the job skills the inmates learn in planting and caring for the trees will help them find employment after they are released.