At the Famers Market there are many farmers, obviously, so deciding where to volunteer was a difficult decision. However, I knew that I wanted to volunteer somewhere that would benefit the community and expand my knowledge as well. The Harvest Center and Green Mountain Ranch were both places where I could learn and help the community.
The Harvest Center’s mission is very honorable: to promote sustainable life styles. The Harvest Center hosts events that are educational about gardening techniques and also donates all of the produce that is grown there to the Community Food Bank. The “Dome” is a green house where all the produce is grown and it’s like stepping into a hot jungle. What surprised me most about the Dome was how well all the vegetables and herbs looked. Growing at such a high altitude I expected the produce to look similar to my garden, but everything looked juicy and luscious. While at the Center my job was to weed and water. This took longer than one might think, however, it was quite a peaceful job. One day as I was watering the Harvest Center had a gardening tour, an event that invited people to learn about the Harvest Center and its gardening techniques. It was a good experience because I got to share with tourists about the Center and the produce grown there. I learned a lot while supporting the noble mission that the Harvest Center sees to. To learn more about the Harvest Center visit wpharvestcenter.org.
At Green Mountain Ranch I learned about hydroponics; growing plants without planting them in dirt. Instead the plants grow in peat moss, a moss that is very absorbent and full of nutrition for the plants. The hydroponic setup is more complicated than it looks. It has a continuous drip system infused with vitamins that the plants absorb making the plants uniquely nutritious. While volunteering there, I got to sample some of the produce and as far as vegetables go it was very good. I also had the opportunity to learn about the business aspect of being a farmer. It isn’t easy to start out as a farmer especially with a new idea, like hydroponics. However, if you can learn to advertise and market, farming can evolve into a successful livelihood. My experience at the ranch makes me believe that Green Mountain Ranch has all the means to become a very prosperous business. To learn more about Green Mountain Ranch and Hydroponics like them on Facebook.
This volunteering experience gave me insight on new gardening technics as well as what it looks like to run your own business. I enjoyed volunteering at the Harvest Center and Green Mountain Ranch.