Responsibilities include working with others to plan gardens, utilizing equipment and supplies, and coordinating volunteer work sessions. Some prior knowledge of vegetable growing and equipment operation is helpful. Training opportunities are available.
Gleaning, the act of harvesting surplus produce from farms and farmers’ markets increases access to nutritious food. Over the past three years, the Geezer Gleaner operation has gleaned over 140,000 pounds of vegetables. In the Old Testament, farmers are told not to pick their fields and vineyards clean, but instead to leave the edges for orphans, widows and travelers.
Individuals are needed to transport vegetables from the gardens to food banks and pantries. A van or truck is required to haul up to 1,000 pounds at a time. A schedule of harvesting days and times will be established for each individual garden.
During harvest, 10 to 30 five-gallon plastic pails are used to carry the fresh vegetables from the garden to waiting produce containers. These pails are in need of washing after each harvest. Individuals can help by picking up the pails after scheduled harvesting, cleaning and returning them for the next harvest. Several people can make this task less of a chore and less time consuming.
From planting to harvest there are necessary tasks to keep the plants looking healthy and rid the garden from weeds. Weekly scheduled work sessions, with experienced gardeners, are open to all. Contact the garden coordinator or check the website calendar for specific times and garden locations. Come when you can – leave when you have to.
Annual tool maintenance is needed for hoes, knives, hand tools, etc. Individuals can help in the fall to clean, sharpen and paint tools. Each year a few tools are in need of repair.
A few individuals are needed to operator farm tractors (up to 40 horsepower) that are used to do major tillage operations, plowing, planting, cultivating and harvesting. It would be helpful if volunteer has previous experience in the operation of modern farm equipment. Individuals need to become familiar with tractor operator manuals. Training is available. Attendance at a safety program is required for all operators.