Stormy weather couldn't scare off volunteers for November's CWD.
Autumn has arrived at the farm, and the end of the growing season is quickly approaching despite having just as many tasks as the peak of summer. October was a busy month with group volunteer visits, who were crucial in helping us finish bigger tasks and harvests: over 150 volunteers joined us and dedicated more than 241 hours of their time, making October just as popular as April and June! The most popular areas for assistance were native seed collection and field clean up. We are incredibly thrilled and grateful to everyone who got muddy in the fields or carefully collected seeds stem by stem!
We accomplished a lot together, working on tasks such as cleaning up the field, shelling beans, weeding, gleaning, and more. We are extremely grateful to everyone who joined us and contributed over the past few weeks.
Lastly, come celebrate another great volunteer season at our year-end Volunteer Potluck on December 2nd!
See you at the farm,
HHF Food Donation + Volunteer Coordinator
to the wind,
'I fall; but always
rise again.' "
The remaining Community Work Days this year will most likely involve field clean up with other tasks added in, weather dependent. 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. We can't grow more for our community, until we bring this year's field full circle with your help!
Upcoming Community Work Days
9am - Noon
Saturday, November 18th Reserve your spot for November today
Saturday, December 2nd Reserve your spot for December today
*December's Work Day will be followed by a Volunteer Potluck in the classroom from 12:30-2:30pm:
bring your favorite dish or drink to share, connect with other volunteers, and celebrate all we have accomplished this year!
RSVP for the Volunteer Potluck here.
October's Community Work Day
A challenging stretch of wet and windy weather welcomed our October CWD: field clean up! Rain prevented photographing our first activity, as we broke down tomato trellises and hauled away the spend plants. While these plants weren't nearly as tall as their counterparts grown in the High Tunnel, they were plenty heavy after a busy summer.
The weather finally calmed down in the later part of the morning, just in time too: the newly planted garlic was seeing an impact from the heavy rainfall, as the soil washed away and uncovered these seeds for next year's crop. Volunteers went to work laying hay on these beds, and practicing their CrossFit workouts with bales of hay.
Each garlic bed needed approximately 5 bales of hay. Thanks to these volunteers, 4,000 heads of garlic are now tucked in for the winter and will be ready to enjoy in 2024!
Regular volunteers help out the Farm Stand by washing produce bins during each week's busy opening day.
Thank you, CMCS volunteers!
Employees from ICL joined us once again this October to harvest the farm's sweet potato crop. Sweet potatoes are planted in the heat of summer and are ready to dig up and enjoy by the time cool autumn days roll around. To get to the tasty underground tuber that is the sweet potato, all of the vining stalks and field infrastructure must first be removed. Then, the digging can begin!
We have so much gratitude for the ICL employees who joined us this year, and for all their help hunting in the soil for these spuds.
ICL collected over 541 lbs of sweet potatoes!
About a quarter of these were donated directly to a pantry partner, while the rest went to the Farm Stand.
There are plenty of ways to contribute to the farm outside of the growing field. Shelling and weighing packages of dried beans and corn is just one of them!
Dried beans are a great source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They are perfect for enjoying during the cold winter months, and thanks to volunteers bags are now available to buy in the Farm Stand for all to enjoy.
Volunteer H prunes and weeds the Education Garden, so that future groups can enjoy and experience this space.
The last flowers of the season made a gorgeous display, going out in a riot of color that volunteers had fun arranging.
Employees from Regeneron joined us on two visits as part of their week-long Day for Doing Good. Their groups pitched in with two projects: breaking down over 600ft of flower bed fields, and then collecting 6 lawn bags of native seeds from 4 different varieties of plants. Talk about an impact!
Another rainy day, with more valiant volunteers!
Regeneron's first visit focused on cleaning up the four flower beds in the field, which were finished for the season after the first frosty temperatures hit.
These volunteers worked through the rain and in the mud, pulling up all of the plants and field infrastructure in record time.
Thank you, Regeneron!
Regeneron employees enjoyed sunny skies on a second visit, when they joined us for native seed collection. It seemed as if all of the native plants were ready with seeds, and the group combed through two goldenrod beds, new england asters, and mountain mint. Thousands of seeds were collected, most of which will eventually be planted throughout the area. At the end of the day, we celebrated with giant heads of lettuce: perhaps they grew so big thanks to their bed being directly next to some native plants?
Thank you, Regeneron!
Farmers and volunteers have an important goal when they are here: to keep our crops healthy, and to make a difference.
The long hours farmers and volunteers spent in the fields has paid off: we have officially surpassed our goal of 10,000 lbs of produce donated this year!
With the total amount donated now around 11,550 lbs, we are excited to see how this number continues to grow with the few harvests left to collect.
Volunteers from CMCS learned how to glean, or harvest crops directly for donation. Here, we learned how to identify and cut flowering dill and celery.
Our gleaning partner, Second Chance Foods, made an appearance on CBS Morning News! The gleaning segment was filmed right here at the farm, and their visits every Monday throughout the season are a major part of each week.
Click here to see this featured story.
"Try and leave this world a little better than you found it."
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