"It gives our guys purpose, a way to be productive and give back to the community," said Sgt. Bob Paige. "It gives them the mindset that there's more to life than just yourself. If you're giving back to society, that's a much better deal."
On any given day there can be up to 60 offenders helping with the gardens. As a result they produced more than a ton of crops in 2012.
"In the beginning we had like 11 or 12 pounds," Paige said. "As it started to grow, we began having 300-, 400-, 600-pound yields on a weekly basis."
Trocha has noticed an increased interest in gardening recently.
"More people want to know where their food comes from," he said. "It's great to be able to grow your own and say it came from your garden. A whole generation skipped canning and preserving food, but now it's coming back."
It also saves money in the long run.
"You grow what you need," Trocha said. "The rest you give away or can or freeze."
Even though Trocha's in his 50s, he was one of the younger Master Gardeners when he started in the program five years ago. That all ages part has begun to take hold since.
"I see a lot of younger people now getting into the program," Trocha said. "They had relatives who used to have gardens. Now they want to know how to do it."
For more information on the Master Gardeners, call 745-9260 or visit the website HendricksGardeners.com.