Whit Davis sits on his tractor surveying the land and watching as prisoners from Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center harvest crops.
“He’s an icon of Yankee history, we wanted to help him with the crops,” Patrick Kelley of the Eastern Connecticut Community Gardens Association said.
Kelley and arranged for six prisoners from the Montville based correctional center to come to Davis Farm in Pawcatuck and help with the harvesting of the crops. The prisoners spent about two hours working on the farm, with the food they harvested going to the . At the same time members of the Eastern Community Gardens and several people from Community Solutions Inc., an alternative sentencing program, from Lord’s Point. The seaweed will be used by the prison as fertilizer on their farm.
“It’s like an old bartering system, everyone wins,” Kelley said.
It isn’t the first time the Davis Farm has had some help from prisoners. Last year inmates from Coorigan-Radgowski Correctional Center worked on the farm after helping with the . Kelley and Eastern Connecticut Community Gardens arranges the partnerships and works as the go between the community and state Department of Corrections.
“It’s incredible what they are doing here,” sate Sen. Andrew Maynard said.
Kelley wants to get more people into farming and also help the state’s prisons become self-sustaining through their own farms and gardens.
“We’re spinning negatives into positives,” Kelley said. “They learn agricultural skills, about animals, livestock,” Kelley said.
All under the watchful eye of 88-year-old Davis who took Kelley, Maynard, Warden Scott Erfe, and Department of Correction Public Information Officer Andrius Banevicus on a tour of the crops.