The gavel has fallen on the disposition of the Potter County Jail vegetable garden.

The five acre plot of land where the garden used to grow lies fallow.  The last time seeds were sown was in 2009.  Unfortunately a major hailstorm totally destroyed that crop.  A new one was never planted.  And now it looks like one never will.

Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas has made the decision to let the garden remain a part of the jail's past.  He cited several reasons for deciding against planting this year.

First, those five acres need plenty of water.  And that water is an expense paid for by tax payers.  It cost around $10,000 a year to keep the garden watered.

Secondly, with the garden outside the jail it required a guard to oversee the nearly 10 trustees it required to maintain the garden.  And those inmates are using all the familiar garden implements you use but there is potential danger in giving prisoners items which can easily be used as weapons.

And finally, originally it was planned harvests we to be served to inmates with the intent of lowering food costs and justifying the expense.  Unfortunately the current food vendor has decided against serving the inmate grown food.  The last several crops have been donated to non profit agencies.

There will be something grown on the five acre patch of land soon; a new Sheriff's Office administration building.