Teamwork makes the dream work! CWD volunteers did heavy lifting in order to bring in this year's pumpkin harvest.
The farm is a sight to see in autumn: foggy mornings and balmy temperatures are the perfect time to find a new spot to explore, and we are excited to share the bounty of the fields with all our visitors. The plants are flourishing and food is overflowing the farm stand, and the first signs of autumn are a welcome change after a hot summer.
More than 60 volunteers shared over 150 hours of their time in September as we weeded, harvested, cleaned, washed, and collected seeds. There are six weeks left in the season, and with more than ever to do we are so grateful for all our volunteer helpers and appreciate any time you have to give.
Volunteer opportunities will continue through November as we focus on late-season tasks, and the winter schedule will be announced shortly. There is still room to join our email list for native seed collection and gleaning: both of these tasks may only have a day or two notice, as they depend on weather and plant conditions to be just right. Click the button below to be added and receive updates on these tasks as they become available.
See you at the farm,
HHF Food Donation + Volunteer Coordinator
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."
Volunteer H helped collect some of the first native iris versicolor seeds this year: what a haul!
Our next Community Work Day will take place on Saturday, October 21st from 9am - 12pm as we work together to clean up our growing field! Many hands make lighter work, and there's a lot to be done as we ready the fields for the winter season. Be prepared to get dirty rain or shine as we work together to remove infrastructure and spent plants from the growing fields, and tidy the space up for covercrops, rest, and revitalization over the next few months. Reserve your spot today!
September's Community Work Day
A beautiful stretch of weather welcomed our September CWD: pumpkin harvest!
We saw a record-breaking turnout of new and returning volunteers, including families from our friends at boys team charity and Children of the American Revolution. Many hands were so appreciated, especially as we handled many hundreds of heavy pumpkins!
Teams of volunteers harvested a total of 1,544 lbs of pumpkins from five varieties, plus a few hidden leftovers from previous harvests by our farm crew. We then went to work removing weeds and bed infrastructure, and then finally storing the produce in the dairy barn.
A special shout-out to Volunteer J, who took on the very important job of weighing and recordkeeping this morning.
A crop's success means records are extremely valuable, and we take care to note the variety and the harvested weight of every bit of produce taken from the field. The final line of pumpkin bins stretched beyond this photo: a fantastic harvest!
A necessary part of the farming cycle, cleaning up growing beds inspires a deep appreciation of all that goes into your food. Teams at each end of the bed raced to the middle to remove the infrastructure.
Gleaners from Second Chance Foods continue to visit the farm each Monday, mindfully harvesting in a way that encourages regrowth and ensures we collect the most from each plant. The kale stalks on the left have been freshly gleaned, contrasting with the full stalks on the right waiting for next week's harvest.
Native plants continue to find new homes in the growing fields!
Volunteers planted Hilltop-grown seedlings in a new paper mulch medium at the southern edge of the fields.
The challenging weather led to some varieties ending early this year, and volunteers were up for the task of pulling up and composting these stalks.
There's just two more weeks left for the rest of our field flowers: join us the next two Thursdays to collect as many stems as we can before then!
Volunteer P joined us on a harvest day, and the whole crew had a collective moment of excitement as we dug up a new variety of carrot for the first time: these Glow Stix carrots are as tasty as they are beautiful!
It is hard to describe the innumerable amount of insects visiting flowers across the farm. As they all race to feed and store much-needed nutrients for the winter, the showy goldenrod in the field Founder's Plot continues to be the top attraction.
The farm's native plantings are primarily grown for seed, in order to increase their population. Collecting as much seed as possible from our plants is vital for this mission, and volunteers are key to make this happen!
Most seed clumps are small, so it was exciting to see that Volunteer K managed to collect, and hold on to, the biggest handful of the afternoon!
No seed left behind: volunteers swept iris versicolor seeds into piles to collect as much as possible.
Farmers and volunteers have an important goal when they are here: to keep our crops healthy, and to make a difference.
All of this hard work is paying off: we have donated over 8,450 lbs of produce to our neighbors in need through our pantry partners.
During just one gleaning opportunity, volunteers harvested 8 lbs of flowering dill and a whopping 35 lbs of celery. These items and more went on to feed families that same night through our pantry partner.
Hilltop-grown native seedlings were donated to the Trailside Museum, establishing a new native seed plot there.
Cheyenne and Glitter are enjoying the cool days of autumn. They love to say hello to volunteers!
"Try and leave this world a little better than you found it."
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