Planting Esteem Seeds – 

Jan. 9, 2021 – He lost his job and, over the summer, his ex-fiancé beat him up, putting him in the hospital with a broken arm, a fractured foot and a gash across the bridge of his nose. 

“Only one of my friends was sober, so I called him up crying, bawling my eyes out saying I needed a change,” he says. “I was in the hospital, and I just lost it. I had to get out, so I packed all my things.” He eventually landed at Ranch House Recovery outside Elgin, a peer-to-peer recovery program for men that includes an animal rescue operation and Simple Promise Farms, a nonprofit farm that raises money for addiction recovery scholarships. 

It’s a rare combination of agricultural and 12-step work that Quintero credits with helping him find sobriety during this difficult year. 

“I never had farming experience, but I knew that idle hands are the devil’s playground,” says Quintero, who is one of nearly 80 recovering people with addictions who have lived at the facility since it opened in late 2019. “I never thought I could work a whole day without alcohol, but now I’m the first one out there and the last to come back in.” 

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