Heritage Farm A growing presence in Hazel Dell

first_img Kneeling beside a row of kohlrabi, Dee Rogers tends to a field that may have once saved her life.Rogers is a veteran of the Marine Corps who was once homeless and bouncing aimlessly about the Northwest. A few years back she ended up in a hospital on the coast.“I was really sick,” she says, matter-of-factly. “Drinking too much.”From that hospital visit she connected with veterans’ services, which eventually brought her to Clark County’s Heritage Farm where she got involved with the Partners in Careers program. The group helps veterans learn job skills in agriculture while giving them a serene place to heal.It worked for Rogers, but she’s no longer in the program. Now she’s the program coordinator. Now she helps others heal.“Some things that happen to you can make you feel dead inside,” she says. “This is the opposite.”This spread was once called the Clark County Poor Farm, where the most vulnerable residents could go to get some work, make some money and earn a meal.“I mean, just look at the history of this place,” Rogers says. “It was for the sick and poor. And it still is. I mean, we’re the sick and the poor. In a way, all of us are sick and poor.”Many faces of the farmThis place is all about potential.Every time someone shows up at the Heritage Farm and learns a lesson, or plants a first seed, or harvests a first ear of sweet corn, it is a triumph. Click map to enlargelast_img

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