Volunteers and Apprentices Making a Difference in the Community

The Well Fed Community Garden is full of activity, from harvesting lots of mustard greens, bak choi, and arugula to farm dinners and workshops. Whether you are interested in learning how to grow your food, get a bit of exercise, or enjoy a farm fresh meal with the family, we have lots of opportunities for everyone to get involved in the garden. For instance, last week on Thursday, our apprentices came together  with volunteers around the community who are are passionate about urban agriculture. We dedicated the morning in the garden, harvesting, post-harvesting and planting fresh vegetables. We welcomed friendly pets, children and adults.

The day began as we welcomed volunteers at 9:30 am and discussed the game plan for the day. Part of the group harvested the vegetables while the other half of the group, washed, inspected and packaged the vegetables to be delivered to Irregardless Cafe & Catering for new menu items for the Spring – something we call post-harvesting. The harvest included an abundance of hakerei turnips, Easter egg radishes, bakchoi, butter crunch lettuce, hydroplanic lettuce, salad mix, romaine lettuce, arugula and arugula flowers – all delicious options that can be found on our menu when visiting the cafe.

After everything was prepped and ready to go, we gathered in the field to begin planting tomatoes and other vegetables. Before we began, we gathered compost to prep the soil, followed by laying down an organic fertilizer. The volunteers, our pets and kids, enjoyed this part the most.

Being in the garden not only connects you to the food you eat, but also gives you a  chance to learn from your self and the others around you. Some of the common tasks our volunteers participate in are: spreading mulch and compost, turning compost, wedding, moving the chicken coop, transplanting seedlings, building trellises, preparing beds for planting.

The many benefits to volunteering include opportunities to learn and observe the following: pollinator gardens, organic vegetable production, microgreen production, proper harvesting techniques, compost management, poultry care, edible flower production, herb production, fruit tree management, small fruit production, organic pest and weed management.

A volunteer of the garden once said, “Working at the Well Fed Community Garden gave me a wealth of knowledge and experience in sustainable agriculture. I learned valuable lessons in organic agriculture and community engagement.”

This May we are celebrating the hard work of garden interns Alli Kenlan and Bakri Abushouk. They are both graduating from nc state and moving on to great things. We were so lucky to have thei insight and bright attitudes at the garden. Everyone at the garden will miss them and look forward to seeing the positive impact they will have as they move forward. We look forward to welcoming the new summer interns in the next few weeks.

If you are interested in learning more about urban agriculture or simply sharing your experience while volunteering in our garden and meeting new people, we invite you to come out and connect with us any Thursday of the month from 9:30 am -12 pm. And as our thanks to your support, we host a volunteer potluck every third Saturday of the month, where we relax and socialize over delicious and healthy food!

 

~Morgan Malone, Garden Manager