March's Magnificent Open Saturday Volunteer Day

Volunteers find Arcadia in roundabout ways. 

Lauren and Laura came to Arcadia farm by way of Red Apron Butchery in D.C.'s Union Market. Farm Director Stephen Corrigan happened to be there himself and overheard them talking about Arcadia. He told them about the March 30th Open Volunteer Day -- the first one of the year. They brought a gang of friends, and were impressed by both their fellow volunteers and the work they were allowed to do. Laura particularly noted the volunteers’ backgrounds, “from policy wonks to teachers and journalists,” while Lauren enjoyed forking the field, which she deemed “the most traditional farming activity.”

Kathy and Lee came to Arcadia on the advice of friends. Recent transplants from Fort Worth, Texas, they sewed seeds, cleared a fence, built signs for educational programs, and forked the fields. Kathy, a former chef who owned a café and realized the need for local, organic foods in Fort Worth, hopes to become more involved in the Mobile Market. Both she and Lee agreed they would definitely return to Arcadia.

A total of 16 volunteers -- most with no farm experience at all -- showed at 9 on the cool spring morning. They were ready for work, homemade granola bars (which Executive Director Pam Hess brought to give the new farm hands a shot of energy halfway through the morning), and the satisfaction of dedicating their time to a worthy cause: readying the farm to grow clean, wholesome fruits and vegetables for sale on the Mobile Market, for educational field trips, and for an upcoming Arcadia seasonal cooking workshop and farm dinner. 

Farm Education Manager Morgan Maloney, who with Stephen guided the volunteers in their tasks, was impressed with the number of folks who showed, their quick grasp of what needed to be done, and their enthusiasm. In fact, some volunteers opted to stay well past the close of the event to make sure Stephen had help spreading compost on the field.  

Want to be an Arcadian? The next Open Saturday Volunteer Day is THIS Saturday, April 27th from 9am to 12pm. Register to let us know you’re coming out for a day of farm work and fun.  

By Aisha Salazar

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