TRUMBULL COUNTY Caught red-handed! Green thumbs crop up

Vegetables will be donated to food banks at harvest.
WARREN -- The Trumbull County Juvenile Probation Department is looking for fresh earth to till.
At the Trumbull County Township Trustee Association meeting next month, Brookfield Trustee Gary Lees intends to ask his colleagues for the use of land to expand a gardening program for juvenile delinquents.
Lees had applied for about $1,000 worth of gardening materials, and the program recently got rakes, shovels and seeds from the National Gardening Association.
"Instead of making up graffiti, they are working on a way to beautify the community," said Lees, who is a juvenile probation officer.
"It was a great experience for them."
Flowers, vegetables: Last year, juvenile offenders did their community service time working a 9-foot-by-12-foot flower and vegetable garden behind Brookfield Township Hall.
They labored, in part, on behalf of their comrades behind bars.
Many of the seedlings for the garden were started in juvenile justice center classrooms, nurtured by detainees.
In the fall, the ripe peppers, tomatoes and watermelons were returned to the center, so the children could enjoy the fruit of the harvest.
"Those kids ate good that day," Lees said.
Got help: Elderly Brookfield residents and members of two local churches helped the juveniles, who were driven from Warren to Brookfield to plant and work the garden.
Some days, after working a few hours on the garden, the children were taken to do maintenance or pick up trash at the township park, Lees said.
This year's garden will be expanded by a row of potatoes, which will be donated to local food banks, Lees said.
The gardeners' share of the harvest will also be donated, he said.

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