‘Harvesting Hope’ for women in recovery

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BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ) — An urban farm in Berea is helping women who are recovering from drug addiction learn how to re-enter society.

Berea Urban Farm owners, Cheyenne and Richard Olson, have been hiring recovering addicts to work on their farm to offer job skills.

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“Onions, not opioids” is the mantra for the group of women from Liberty Place, a recovery center in Richmond, working at the farm.

Cheyenne met the women after doing volunteer work at the recovery center for the last decade.

“You take women in recovery who have already made a commitment to sobriety bring them to the farm and teach them to work,” says Cheyenne.

This is a part of a program called Harvesting Hope the Olsons founded over a year ago after raising funds and getting a grant from the Department of Agriculture.

But now that money is running out so they’re looking to start fundraising again.

“We’re trying to get women out of recovery into a job because that’s the number one thing that will keep them sober is significant work,” says Cheyenne.

The women in the program come from the recovery center, work, and get paid.

They have a job, Olson says, something they haven’t been able to keep, or do, for quite some time.

“We’ve got the beds ready, we’ve planted. We’ve got to watch them grow and harvest them,” says recovering addict Rhonda Yarnell.

Yarnell says the farm work is the best part of the program.

But farming isn’t all they learn. They work on resume building skills, interview skills and how to keep a job long term.

“I have these options now and I didn’t feel like I had options before, says Nikka Dykes who is in recovery.

“For the longest time I didn’t think there was a future. I lived day for day to get my next high and now the possibilities are endless,” says recovering addict Monica Perkins.

These women are recent graduates of the program, ready for the future.

“The women that we’ve worked with they’re dedicated, they’re beautiful, they’re sincere, they’re determined. They want to have a different life and they will,” says Cheyenne.

The women all say they have the Olsons to thank for this second chance.

If you would like to help and donate to the program, you can contact Cheyenne Olson at (859) 893-4590.

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