By Katie Wolffe, Farm Team Member and author of www.theharvestparty.com
One of the best things about Arcadia Farm is that there is always something to do. Tomatoes need to be tied up and things need to be planted, picked or pruned. There is always weeding. At Arcadia there is only one part-time farmer to tackle all these tasks.
Enter the Farm Team, at 22 members and counting!
This group of dedicated volunteers has elected to spend (most of) theirevenings doing farm tasks*. I joined a little over a month ago. We meet for about three hours and then gather for an impromptu potluck of garden snacks. We receive instruction from Arcadia's farmer, Peggy, but there isn't professional farmer in the team. There is, however, a fair amount gardening knowledge to be shared. This last week included a mechanic, a restaurant manager, a nurse, a climate policy worker, an emergency preparedness worker, and a former tutor to the children of the Jordanian royal family. While it's not the typical DC style networking, the conversation sure is good. (Truth be told, at least 2 new jobs have been procured by Farm Team members directly from their networking at the farm… in less than a month!)
* Farm Team members also volunteer Mondays and Wednesdays in the morning and work alongside farmer Peggy -- great if you are interested in learning more about growing food, as you've got the source at your finger tips -- and some drop in when they can on their own to weed, water, or do whatever needs doing. *
Most of our farm team volunteers started out at avolunteer day and then expressed interest in doing something more. That's how I started. While I am not quite ambitious enough to want to have a farm that MAKES money for me, one day I would love to have a larger piece of land that I can coax a years worth of food out of for a small family. My time at Arcadia allows me to learn farming skills and tricks that come from real honest to goodness farmers.
Thenight farm team is always looking for a few more hands. Contact FarmTeam@arcadiafood.org if you want to join the fun.
Trellising tomatoes, potluck snacks… and hanging out in the gazebo till night falls on the farm.