Inmates at the Whitley County jail will learn a new skill this spring - gardening.
The county is starting a new jail farm to save on food costs and provide healthy meals.
Earlier this week, jailers installed two new freezers in the back of the detention center. Soon they will hold enough vegetables to feed the inmates for one year.
"I think it's going to be a great program," said Jailer Ken Mobley.
After food costs reached a quarter of a million dollars, county officials say they needed to do something.
They decided to use some land on the new industrial park for a farm.
"I think we can both teach skills to the inmates about raising produce and raising their own food to feed the jail inmates and help save the county quite a bit of money," said Judge-Executive Pat White, Jr.
Jailers expect to reduce the food bill by 30 percent.
"30 percent of a quarter of a million dollars per year is a lot of money," said White.
Officials say it will not only save money, it will also improve the health of inmates.
"Anytime you can eat garden vegetables, you're better off. I think it's a win-win for the county and the inmates as well," said Mobley.
Planting is underway. The first harvest will be in a few months.
Jailer Ken Mobley says he is modeling the program after a similar one in Harlan County.