|Matt Dayhoff / Journal Star|
But now a local resident, Mary Ardapple, a Peoria County board member who owns a local bakery, has taken a look at the place--including the greenhouse. And it's given her the idea to turn the ex-prison into a a food hub and farm incubator site.
Grist has covered the story quite nicely, including how the Illinois Food, Farms and Jobs Act is requiring state institutions like universities and government agencies to source 20% of their food requirements from local sources. I can't even imagine what that would do to local food production; the University of Victoria is now sourcing a lot of its food locally and that alone is changing the face of south island agriculture.
But it's also interesting to note how Illinois is thinking of converting a former prison into a farm and farmer training centre, while here in Canada a proven positive program, that of having prisoners growing a significant part of their own food, has been cancelled because it's not punitive enough.