Prison grown: Inmates grow plants for sale at Guilford Prison Farm
The Guilford County Prison Farm weathered the brutality of this past winter just fine, thank you. Now farm is ready for its spring and summer business — selling plants grown by inmates.
“We’ve got a great variety of tomatoes this year,” said Mike Davis, a staff member at the greenhouse. “These are the old varieties, what they call heirloom tomatoes, and we got a hold of the seeds.”
At least 20 tomato varieties varieties — with names like Hillbilly, Box Car Willie and Fourth of July — are available for purchase and are in high demand, Davis said.
Fortunately, the winter weather didn’t stunt their growth. With the controlled environment of a greenhouse, the Prison Farm was able to start the tomato seeds earlier in the season without fear of losing a whole crop when the unexpected weather hit.
“We have a house full of geraniums, all kinds of petunias, lots of flowers,” Davis said. “There is a new kind of petunia called the ‘littletunia’ with an extremely small bloom.”
The greenhouse has begonias, impatiens, marigolds, snapdragons and others that can come in pots or hanging baskets. They also have a selection of herbs and vegetables. Vegetable plants include broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplants and okra.
Inmates also have built wood products for sale. They include picnic tables, a swing set, wheelbarrows and bird houses.
Also available are honey, jelly, cider and syrup, as well as deer corn and mulch.
The Prison Farm is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily until the end of June. It’s located at 7315 Howerton Road, Elon. For information about products, call 336-641-2630.