Farmers market sprouts from teenager-run garden in unlikely place

Wednesday, 9/4/13 - 3:25 pm

As Jamall Kingham harvested romaine lettuce, kale and zucchini, the once-inexperienced farmer proudly glanced at his haul. In just a month and a half, the 17-year-old has learned new job skills at the same time he’s learning to run a garden in a Multnomah County program for juveniles on supervision.

Kingham and fellow participants added to their resumes this week by selling produce from the Hands of Wonder Stipend Garden at the first farmers market inside the Donald E. Long Juvenile Justice Center in Northeast Portland on Aug. 28.

Sidney Morgan, the county’s Restorative Justice coordinator runs the three-year-old program. This season she wanted to expand the program’s offerings to include the farmers market so the teenagers learned what it takes to run a business.

“We're teaching them garden skills and workplace skills,” Morgan said. “ Our program is a training ground for our kids who need more training in how to work on a job.”

On the first day of the farmers market, customers lined up for oversized zucchinis, yellow squash, herbs and tomatoes. Sales from the market will go back toward Juvenile Services programs.

The next farmers market will be from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10 and Wednesday, Sept. 11 at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Justice Complex, 1401 N.E. 68th Ave., Portland.

Follow coverage of the Hands of Wonder Stipend Garden and its first farmer’s market:

KGW: “Juvenile offenders open new farmers market”

The Skanner: "Multnomah County Garden Gives Youth Job Skills"