Volunteer for a Stronger Food System

Let’s say you want to get your hands dirty, but don’t have your own garden. Or maybe you want to support the local food movement, but don’t know where to start. Volunteering at a farm, community garden, or local food event is a great way to feel connected and use your strengths to improve the local food system.

Area farmers markets are often looking for volunteers and interns to help the market run smoothly. Volunteers can join the set-up and break-down team, help with the promotions table, lead activities for kids, and participate in special events. Spring is a good time to get connected with your neighborhood farmers market to see how you can contribute.

If you’re interested in hands-on gardening, The Lord’s Acre in Fairview relies on volunteers to grow produce for community members in need. Volunteers help plant, weed, harvest, and more. Weekly work times are held May through October, so get in touch with The Lord’s Acre to get involved this season. Contact your local cooperative extension office to see if there is a community garden near you.

Gardens That Give is a group of volunteers, garden managers and other participants that represent diverse models of community gardens in Western North Carolina. They have one main thing in common: they grow food for donation. Participating gardens can be found in Asheville, Spruce Pine, Sylva, Brevard and other locations throughout WNC. Search for Gardens That Give on Facebook to find out more.

Many schools have food gardens and are in search of helpers. Volunteers are needed to weed, mulch, and harvest and to help kids experience growing and eating healthy food. Contact a school near you to find out how you can help.

ASAP’s Farm Tour is coming up and there are plenty of ways to lend a hand. Greet visitors, answer questions, and share your enthusiasm for the local food movement. ASAP also welcomes volunteer photographers to document family farms and special events.

Volunteer opportunities in Western North Carolina:

Farmers markets

ASAP’s Farm Tour

The Lord’s Acre in Fairview

WNC Alliance for Gardens That Give locations throughout WNC

School gardens: Call a school near you to inquire about helping in their garden. Or use these lesson plans to teach your children and their friends about local food.

Aired 5/1/17

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