Larimer County Community Corrections farmers' market opens August 4th
Department: Board of County Commissioners
Release Date: Jul 31, 2017
Joe Weilnau, Senior Correctional Services Specialist, Community Corrections,
[ 970] 498-7575, email@example.com
Community Corrections clients give back to the community
As the summer starts to wind down, fresh garden vegetables are ripening up and ready for harvest. The Larimer County Community Corrections Farmers’ Market is back this year and opens every Friday beginning August 4th from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon, just south of Prospect and east of Timberline Rd at 2255 Midpoint Drive in Ft. Collins.
The Farmers’ Market is carried out by clients in the intensive residential drug and alcohol treatment program. Community Corrections clients grow, harvest, and sell garden-fresh vegetables, herbs, and berries at their stand. The farmer’s market program will be open every week until the produce runs out.
The produce is sold on a donation basis, and Community Corrections Senior Staff Member Joe Weilnau, who is overseeing the program, said that at the end of the market season the majority of the proceeds will be donated to local charities that often serve their clients.
A portion of the revenues will also be used to appreciate all the hard work the clients have accomplished growing and harvesting the produce. Community Corrections Director Tim Hand stated, “We plan to use the appreciation revenue one afternoon for a barbecue where our staff will cook hamburgers and hot dogs for the clients. I believe they deserve some return on their sweat equity investment.” Hand expressed appreciation for Weilnau and his efforts coordinating the Farmers’ Market. Hand described the garden initiative as a “pay it forward” program yielding positive results from Community Corrections clientele.
Beginning in 2008, the program has expanded from a single plot to several beds and varieties of produce. The Community Corrections Farmers’ Market will offer tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, yellow summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, garlic, onions, shallots, chives, green onions, variety of peppers, mint, spearmint, strawberries, and a hybrid-type of raspberries.
The market takes cash and checks, 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. Bath Garden Center donated plants and supplies for the program.
Clients who work the garden are also involved in a 21-day and 90-day drug and alcohol treatment programs 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.