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Pontotoc County inmate garden

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 7/22 6:41 pm
PONTOTOC, Miss (WTVA) -- "We're pulling corn in this patch," said Pontotoc County Sheriff Leo Mask. "This is the first time we've pulled this corn in this patch. We've got four other patches that we've been pulling."

For Sheriff Mask and his inmates, this has become a yearly ritual.

The sheriff has several acres of vegetables that he and the county inmates have grown. .

"Yeah, we grow it out here. And, after we pull the corn, and we shuck it and put it up ourselves," Mask continued.

It's harvest time at the Pontotoc County jail, and Sheriff Mask and his inmates are soon to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Corn is a big part of the menu at the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Department.

In fact, the sheriff says he's already picked some 500 gallons this year already despite the fact he had to start late because of rain.

In fact, he says three gallons of corn can feed about 90 inmates.

That's a pretty good return on investment he says and it saves money too.

"Well, it saves on food costs. And you know you get your inmates out to work and helps with our budget," Mask continued.

But, corn is not the only thing they grow at the Pontotoc County jail.

A quick look inside of the freezer and it reveals everything from sweet potatoes to okra and plenty of it.

"We've got squash, butter beans, peas, okra, corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers. We grow everything that they would buy at the store," Sheriff Mask continued. 

All he has to add he says is meat, bread, salt, pepper, corn meal and sugar. 

By the way, 500 gallons of corn equals more than 62 bushels.

Sheriff Mask says that local merchants donate the seeds for his crops each year.
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