Even though there are lots of farmers’ markets where you can buy the freshest of nature’s bounty, one is very special because of the benefits it gives its farmers.

The Larimer County Community Corrections Farmers’ Market is run by clients in the men’s and women’s intensive residential drug and alcohol treatment program. They grow, harvest and take donations for their garden-fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruit at their stand. The donations are then given to local charities.

The market is open from 8 a.m. to noon every Friday starting August 10 at Bath Garden Center and Nursery, located at Prospect and Timberline Road in Fort Collins.

Bath Garden and Nursery, and the Loveland Gardening Club are a few of the local entities who have generously donated resources to the program through the years.  “This is a great partnership for our agency,” said Dana Hersch, Larimer County Community Corrections Assistant Director.

The clients who work in the farmers’ market are involved in a 21- to 90-day drug and alcohol treatment program designed to confront the addictions and behaviors that led to their involvement in the criminal justice system. They say it’s one of the best forms of therapy enhancing their recovery.

“The experience has been very therapeutic for me. I had never been through a great program like this. I consider it a privilege to be here, and want to thank you for letting me in this program,” said Nikki Harper, a client in the program.

The program serves as an avenue for clients to learn the value of giving back to the community while they rebuild their lives. Clients have also learned valuable skills that have led to jobs at landscaping companies, and gardening stores after they are released from the program.

“This program has saved my life. I want to thank everyone at Community Corrections for helping me help myself,” said Rhianna Weiss, another client in the program. “It’s life-changing and I now want to be able to give back to the community.”

Weiss and Harper were guests today at the Board of Larimer County Commissioners Administrative Matters meeting to share the positive outcome of their experience in the residential treatment program.

“The real reward is to see folks like you benefit from this program,” said Larimer County Commissioner Steve Johnson.

Since the project started in 2008, it has grown in size from a single plot to several beds which produce a variety of produce. Clients in the program designed, built and maintain the garden with gardening tools and equipment being donated by Bath Garden Center and Nursery in Fort Collins and other organizations.

The farmers’ market takes checks and cash for donations, but not credit cards. 

Published on: 
Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 2:44pm
Contact Details:

Joe Weilnau, Senior Correctional Services Specialist, Community Corrections, 970.498.7575

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