STOW -- This isn't just a vegetable garden. It's helping many lives in different ways.
The idea for this good-natured garden sprouted from Municipal Judge Kim Hoover's braina few years ago to use a vegetable garden near the courthouse to help generate goods for the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
At the beginning of the year, Hoover heard about marijuana plant-growing lights that were seized during a drug arrest. Once the case was finished, he asked for the lights to help grow food during the winter months.
"I thought, with the lights, I could start my season earlier," Judge Hoover said. When he brought the idea back to Stow Court Administrator Rick Klinger.
Klinger wasn't so sure about the proposal.
"Just another one of his harebrained ideas that he always comes up with and tries to get us to manage," Klinger joked.
As it turned out, Klinger is managing the project. He helped put up the lights in the court's basement so they could start growing seedlings and even came in on the weekends to water the plants.
Now, he's making sure the community service workers are getting everything planted just right.
"I've not really done much agriculture work in my life but it was fun to get the lights up and running and to see the final product, produced fruits and vegetables," Klinger said.
With help from court staff, those serving, and the new lights, the garden has grown.
According to the Stow Court, the garden also provides work for those in the community who need to perform community service.
Judge Hoover told CourtNewsOhio.govthat those working on the garden became "very dedicated," especially since they were producing the food for the needy.
Among different vegetables, Judge Hoover says they grew 600 pounds of potatoes this year with plans to hit 2,000 pounds in 2013.