COMMUNITY SERVICE
July 1, 2019

Ahavah Farms

Ahavah Farms is one of our beloved Farmers Market vendors. Unfortunately, in March when the cyclone bomb storm hit Colorado it completely destroyed their farm. The devastation was so severe that they were even featured on the news! The Woodland Park Farmers Market team really wanted to send someone to help, I was happy to volunteer! Ahavah Farms is one of my personal favorite vendors because not only is their produce delicious but their farm is entirely organic, nothing is sprayed, and the way they care and water their plants is entirely eco-friendly. There hasn’t been a farm like theirs at our market before! When I arrived at the farm, the devastation was horrible. Entire green houses had been whipped out. Flattened to the ground. The last standing green house was where I worked. Because there were so many repairs to be done this green house had been a little neglected. I was on my hands and knees weeding and caring for the produce all day. Because of how far away Ahavah was located I was only able to help out one day, however the team there was extremely grateful for the help. They even sent me home with a bag full of veggies as a thank you, given their circumstances, this act really touched me. Even though I went there to volunteer, I honestly left feeling like I was the one who had been given the most.

Inside the green house at Ahavah
A picture of the flattened green houses at the Ahavah Farm

Exotic Green House

Not all plants are photoautotroph (plants that absorb water and sunlight as nutrients).  This was a surprising fact I recently discovered when I volunteered at a local green house that specializes in growing carnivorous plants. Google defines these plants as “… plants that derive some or most of their nutrients from trapping and consuming animals or protozoans, typically insects and other arthropods.” even though I went there to volunteer it was quite an experience to see such rare and exotic plants! While there, I got to get to know the family that ran the green house and learn a lot about the business side of running such an operation. I spent the entire day in the green house replanting exotic little plants. It was certainly an exotic opportunity!

Vase plants that can trap small animals. They were as big as a squash!
Most of the plants inside the exotic green house hung from the ceiling.
beautiful tube plants

Community Recreation Center– I love fitness. Which is why, this year I have decided to become a certified fitness trainer. As I have been learning and growing in this area, I decided to use the knowledge I am learning to start a Free Friday fitness class at the local Community Recreation Center. This opportunity has truly been a pleasure because it is something I value and truly believe can help my community become healthier. This experience, out of all the volunteering I have done, has stretched me the most.  It has pushed me to become more comfortable being in front of a crowd, to be encouraging and positive even when I feel like giving up, and to really push people to be the best versions of themselves they possibly can be.  Fitness or not, those lessons can be applied to every area of life. I am so grateful that I was able to develop these life skills through volunteering.

M Lazy C Ranch– The M Lazy C ranch is a family owned local ranch in my community. I heard that they had some recent setbacks in their business so I asked if they needed some extra help. They were very grateful for the offer and let me come out for a day to help out. Supporting local is something my family and community strongly believes, so naturally so do I. We believe that supporting local is supportive to healthier foods systems that don’t harm our environment and directly benefit the community. While I was at the ranch, I cleaned cabins, waited on and served guests, and helped take care of animals. It was hard work! It was a great opportunity to learn more about this local ranch and while I was there, I made some new friends. I will definitely be going back to volunteer.

A chuck wagon I helped out with
The ranch hosted a barn dance while I was there!
One of the cabins I cleaned