Happy National Volunteer Week!
By Katie Junghans, Volunteer Coordinator
It’s National Volunteer Week, and we have so many wonderful volunteers to thank for their efforts! Just last week, Red Wiggler hosted 46 unique volunteers who helped us pot over 1100 tomato seedlings; plant out most of our bunching and storage onions, kale and collards; seed the snap and snow peas, spinach and arugula; and so much more. So it isn’t hard to come up with…
10 Reasons Why Red Wiggler Loves Our Volunteers
1. They have great ideas! The onion drying beds that were thought up and built by a volunteer last season dried one ton of storage onions and were just the answer to our need for drying space
2. They bring fresh energy and enthusiasm! When a volunteer marvels over the beauty of the vegetables we are hoeing, or gapes at the number of potatoes popping out from behind the plow, it gives us new eyes and renews our energy and pride in our work.
3. They give us a chance to interact with the community without leaving the farm! Growers and staff worked with 46 different volunteers last week, including 13 college students, 1 professor and 1 administrator from Montgomery College, 3 middle schoolers, 27 high school students and one elementary school teacher.
4. They sometimes bring treats! Our Big Wig Award winning volunteer from 2014 just brought in a crock pot of delicious potato soup which hit the spot after a cold blustery morning of work in the fields.
5. They keep coming! We rely on returning volunteers who have built good working relationships with Growers to work one-on-one with them, and team with Growers to teach skills to new volunteers.
6. They come back with friends! Our intern from last summer persuaded her high school’s National Honor Society to adopt Red Wiggler as one of the organizations they support. Since October, they’ve volunteered in rain and shine over 240 hours.
7. They lighten the load! One of our growers said it most succinctly: our volunteers help us get our work done.
8. They bring skills and knowledge! A volunteer bluebird monitor keeps track of all the activity in 26 bluebird boxes around the farm. His data showed that 60 bluebirds fledged from those boxes last year.
9. They take our mission home with them! Many of our volunteers have never interacted with people with disabilities. The farm gives them a unique opportunity to work with our Growers who have, between them, over 100 years of farming experience, and are eager to share what they know. Our volunteers go home changed and inspired and eager to share what they’ve experienced with their families and friends.
10. They allow us to fulfill our vision of creating fertile ground to nourish an inclusive community!
Thank you to all who have volunteered their time, talent and treasure to Red Wiggler Community Farm!!