Slow Food West Michigan had a very productive 2016 Volunteer Day Series! If you want to stay up to date on upcoming volunteer opportunities, contact us today to join our volunteer mailing list!
May 19th we had the pleasure of working with the team at Urban Roots. Volunteers were able to help set up trellising and plant warm season vegetables.
Urban Roots is a community farm and education center in the Madison Square neighborhood. They are locally minded placemakers who believe that growing food is an invitation into being fully human. They believe that urban agriculture can simultaneously address food justice, unemployment, and urban community well being all while enriching and connecting our greater Grand Rapids Community.
Urban Roots is a 2016 winner of our Biodiversity Micro Grant! Thanks to your generous donations this grant helped expand their use of heirloom seeds and seed saving capabilities at their location in Madison.
August 6th we joined the team at the Garfield Park community garden. The Slow Food West Michigan volunteers were able to help weed garden beds, plant root vegetables and plant cover crops.
The Garfield Park Neighborhoods Association works with Community Partners on a Community Garden at 1714 Madison Ave SE. Their hopes are to contribute to community transformation, neighborhood revitalization, and ecological restoration of the area through the active participation of neighborhood Gardeners.
September 14th our volunteers assisted the team at Baxter Community Center in preparation for their weekly canning classes. This week we were canning salsa. Cans were washed and sanitized, tomatoes were peeled, peppers were seeded and general cleanup was done.
The Around the Table initiative at Baxter Community Center includes cooking classes for adults, which focus on preparing easy, affordable family meals using produce in season. Food preservation classes teach adults about the nutritional and financial benefits of preserving their own food through canning and freezing. These classes advocate for the use of produce from home gardens or farmers’ markets as the most healthful and affordable way to provide fresh foods to families.
September 24th volunteers met at Hope Farms to participate in a Seed Saving Workshop. We were able to assist in the preservation efforts for the heirloom African eggplant, a native squash, as well as onions.
After an exciting morning of harvesting vegetables and saving seeds, we finished the morning by sauteing some of the squash for a tasty treat!
As a Refugee Service under Bethany Christian Services, Hope Farms provides refugees with agricultural training and job skills in order to help them obtain employment and have access to farm land to grow supplemental food for their families. Through these two objectives, this program helps refugees become financially independent and provides participants with hope for their new life in West Michigan.