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Char Hope Foundation sunflower field in bloom, seeks to raise funds for programs that help adults struggling with addiction

Sunflowers have been a popular crop for some local farms in recent years, with the large yellow flowers attracting throngs of visitors to local fields in search of selfie spot or just a place to enjoy nature’s beauty.

This season however, was a bit different with fields filled with more traditional crops like corn and soybeans. For example, Clear Meadow Farm along Norrisville Road in Jarrettsville, announced during spring planting season it would skip sunflowers this year, out of an abundance of caution and the existing restrictions on public events and social distancing at the time.

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Derek Hopkins and the group at the Char Hope Foundation had planned to plant sunflowers this season for some fundraising purposes before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With many fundraising options on hold or scaled down, the organization is hoping folks will offer their support for the organization by visiting the field along Route 165 in Pylesville, said Hopkins, the founder of the organization.

For safety reasons related to COVID-19, the organization is requesting visitors make a reservation before visiting the field. They can do so on the foundation’s website www.charhopefarmmarket.com.

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Cost is $10 per car to come in for photos or just to enjoy and explore the field, and sunflowers are for sale for $1 per stem. Purchases for stems can also be made on the website.

All proceeds from the sunflower field benefit the Char Hope Foundation programs. The group is also working on building a farm market both online and physical facility to help make the Char Hope program self-sustainable.

Char Hope was founded in 2015 and uses a farm setting to help adults struggling with addiction and substance abuse work toward long-term recovery. Those in the program live and work on the Char Hope Foundation’s farm as they work on their recovery while learning agricultural and life skills with a strong support group. More information about the organization can be found on its website, or by emailing charhope@charhope.org or by calling 877-499-1397.

Once the Char Hope sunflower crop is done for the season, organizers said they will help recommend other farms in the area with sunflowers.

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