Larimer County Community Corrections Farmers' Market Project
Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Aug 27, 2014
Tim Hand, Director, Community Corrections, (970) 498-7516, firstname.lastname@example.org
FROM: Deni La Rue, Community Information Manager, (970) 498-7150, email@example.com
DATE: August 27, 2014
Larimer County Community Corrections Client Spencer Johnson
The Larimer County Community Corrections Farmers’ Market is under way every Friday from 9am-5pm, 2255 Midpoint Drive, Fort Collins, just south of Prospect past Timberline in Fort Collins. The program is carried out by clients in the intensive residential drug and alcohol treatment program. Community Corrections clients grow, harvest, and sell vegetables, herbs and melons at their stand. The farmer’s market program will run through the end of September.
Community Corrections Director Tim Hand says the first three weeks of the market has raised nearly $800. The produce is sold on a donation basis, and market participants have chosen to donate the majority of the proceeds to United Way at the end of the market season. In addition, a portion of the revenues will be used to appreciate all the hard work the clients have accomplished growing and harvesting the produce, “We plan to use the appreciation revenue one afternoon for a barbecue where our staff will cook hamburgers and hotdogs for the clients. I believe they deserve some return on their sweat equity investment.” Hand says the garden initiative is a ‘pay it forward' program yielding positive results from the Community Corrections clientele.
Beginning in 2008, the program has expanded from a single plot to several beds and varieties of produce. Currently the Community Corrections Farmers’ Market offers tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, yellow crook-neck squash, cucumbers, fresh picked basil and mint and cantaloupes, pumpkins, beets, and cabbage, which will be available as the season progresses. The market takes checks and cash, but not credit cards.
Community Corrections clients not only worked the produce stand but designed, built, and planted the garden to grow the produce. Donations for construction came from community businesses as well as County surplus and recycled County building materials. Local nurseries and landscape companies donated plants and supplies. Clients who work the garden are also involved in a 90-day drug and alcohol treatment program designed to confront the addictions and behaviors that led to their involvement in the criminal justice system. The Farmers Market is a therapeutic outlet and opportunity to learn the value of giving back to the community.