Volunteers are a vital part of Joshua Farm’s mission to offer employment opportunities to youth, make organically-grown food affordable for local residents, and provide service-learning experiences to students of all ages. We welcome individuals and groups to spend an hour, a day, or more at the farm. Volunteers are most needed during March to mid-June and from September to November. During the summer months we are more focused on our youth training/employment program, so our capacity for volunteers during that time is reduced (though not eliminated!). To schedule a time to for a group to volunteer, please contact Kirsten Reinford (see contact form below). Click on “volunteer information > schedule” above for the current dates individual volunteers are welcome.
Some things to know:
- Be prepared to work hard in whatever weather there is! Dress in layers and expect to get dirty.
- We have basic supplies on hand–drinking water, sunscreen, bug spray, gloves, tools. Of course, you are welcome to bring your own supplies if you prefer.
- Please wear closed toed shoes–no sandals or bare feet! Many of our tools are sharp, and there is still a lot of broken glass and debris in the soil.
- There is plenty of parking in the lot on 18th Street, but carpool if you can.
- If you have questions about something, please ask! We want you to understand why, what, and how to work efficiently at the farm.
- We regret that the farm is not completely accessible for people with physical handicaps, but we can make some accommodations. There are a variety of tasks that can be done sitting down and/or in the shade. Please let us know how we can help you feel welcome and productive at the farm.
- Children are welcome to volunteer with their parents, as long as they respect our plants and tools. There is a sandbox and plenty of room to run (just not among our vegetables!).
In addition to weeding, planting, harvesting, making and spreading compost, picking up trash, etc., there are other kinds of volunteer projects, such as small engine repair, making signs, passing out fliers, hanging up posters, construction projects, painting, etc. Also see the wish list for some projects that volunteers could adopt. If you have specific skills or interests, please contact me to work out the details of a project.
Remember, 10 people working for 4 hours have the capacity to accomplish as much as one person working for 40 hours. The work you do may feel mundane and repetitive, but it is still important. Our culture tends to devalue physical labor; see if you can find a rhythm in it that helps you to be aware, alert, and grateful. If you want to be quiet, listen to the sounds of life on an urban farm. If you want to talk, get to know someone new or look at things from a different perspective. Volunteering is about more than just getting the job done–it’s about connecting with the place and people that make great food possible. Thanks in advance for your service!