© 2019 by Iowa Gardening for Good

Suggestions for volunteers

 

 

Consider the vehicle you bring to the farm

 

  • You will likely be getting dirty and when you get back in your vehicle, you may want a towel/blanket/floor mat so you don’t get the interior of your car too dirty.

  • We live on a gravel road and regardless of which direction you come from you will be driving on a least two miles of gravel.  If you are very protective about driving on gravel, you may want to use a different vehicle.

 

Consider the clothes you wear

 

  • Morning dew will often last through mid-morning.  This means walking through many of the areas will result in wet shoes.  You may want to bring rubber boots for the morning times.

  • Clothes and shoes  will likely get dirty and possibly stained.

  • Dark colors can be hot in the sun.

  • White can attract more insects and show dirt easier.

  • Long pants or shorts?  Your choice.  For some tasks, people prefer to kneel or sit on the ground.  We do have some kneeling stands and pads that make it ok for people in shorts to kneel on the ground.

  • Long sleeves or short?  Again, your choice.  Some people don't like the "scratchiness" of certain plants and prefer long sleeves when picking from them.  Others don't seem to mind the rough leaves.

 

Remember the sun 

 

  • For the most part, there is no shade where people are picking the vegetables.  If you are not used to being outside for longer periods of time, you may want to make sure you have sun screen, long sleeve shirts, a hat, sunglasses, etc.

 

Drinks/refrigeration 

 

  • You will want to keep hydrated with water, a sports drink or other drink of your choice.  Please bring your own drink(s) but feel free to refill a water bottle here.  It is cost prohibitive for us to provide individual drink bottles for all the volunteers who come to help out.

  • There is a refrigerator available for you to store drinks/food in.

 

Lunch 

 

  • If you plan to be here at meal time, please plan to provide your own sack lunch or purchase your lunch in a nearby town.

  • We have a pond with some picnic tables, plenty of shade trees and our air conditioned house is open to any that want to use the bathroom, eat inside, or just take a break.  In addition, we have a port-a-potty and outdoor sink available for use. 

  • The closest restaurants are in Slater.  They are the Nite Hawk Bar and Grill and B Fabulous BBQ.  It is located about 3 miles from the farm.  

  • There is also a Casey's in Slater that has a sandwich bar along with pizza, hamburgers, etc. and a Casey's in Madrid.

 

Gloves

 

  • Most tasks don’t require wearing gloves. 

  • If you have a pair, feel free to bring them along just in case.  We do keep some on hand if you don't have any. 

  • Picking hot peppers is probably the biggest issue for some people that are sensitive to the hot peppers – especially if they rub their face or eyes after picking.  This has proven "uncomfortable" for a few previous volunteers and might be a case where gloves are a good idea.

 

Age/physical restrictions 

 

  • There are no age restrictions.  We have had volunteers here from 6 months to 92 years young in the past.

  • We support bringing younger kids to be part of the process. 

  • Some of the jobs are ideal for small/family teams.  For example, a parent can pick cucumbers or zuchinni and pass them to a child who then carries them to a crate or wagon.  The only thing we ask is that you be able to supervise your own children. We find that many families and friends enjoy working in teams in the garden.

  • We try and keep things safe around our place, but there are still plenty of things that unsupervised kids might get into.  Some volunteers use pruning shears or small knives to cut plant stems or twine so opportunities for injury are present for curious kiddos. We do like to let kids go fishing or play with our dogs, cats, rabbits or chickens after they are done gardening. 

  • We have a limited number of tasks that can be done by those unable to meet the physical demands of gardening.  These include recording weights of produce crates, planting seeds in flats and other miscellaneous jobs you can do while sitting.

 

What else to bring?

 

  • We try and have everything people may need except drinks, food and gloves. 

  • If you have a knife you like to harvest vegetables with feel free to bring it, but we should have plenty of equipment on hand.

  • People should feel free to bring radios/mp3 players if they want to, but use at your own risk as gardens can be wet and muddy.

  • If you have a kneeling stand or pad you like to use, by all means bring it along.