Without herbicides to control weeds, organic farms have to find people to pull weeds by hand. Workers are hard to find because hand weeding is drudgery. One solution is to tap into the prison population in the US…
“In a lush field southeast of Iowa, convicts serving time for theft, drug dealing and other crimes are hoeing weeds in what is planned as the state prison system’s first organic farm.”
“In the future, as many as 1,000 acres of prison farms throughout Iowa may be converted to organic crops, said Deputy Iowa Corrections Director Roger Baysden. … ‘This is perfect for prisons,’ Baysden said. ‘What I have got is labor, and I can save money on the chemical side by putting inmates to work with hoes. That is what the public really wants to see anyway.'”
Author: William Petroski
Affiliation: The Des Moines Register staff writer
Headline: Prison farm going organic; Inmates tend crops without chemicals
Publication: The Des Moines Register, Monday, 19 July 2004.