Since 2006, the backyard of the Dartmouth YMCA has been home to a beautiful community farm, growing a variety of fruits and vegetables for their Sharing the Harvest Community Farm project. This non-profit program was established by the Dartmouth YMCA, the United Way of Greater New Bedford, and the Hunger Commission of Shoutheastern Massachusetts.
Sharing the Harvest runs off the efforts of volunteers from the community to care for, grow, and harvest crops to help fight hunger in our towns and cities. All produce from the farm is donated to local food pantries in the area, with the cities of New Bedford and Fall River being the focus with some of the highest rates of hunger in Massachusetts. Sharing the Harvest program supplies thousands of pounds in fruits and vegetables each year, with around 43,000 pounds donated in 2012 alone. This year’s goal will be another 50,000 pounds, but this can’t be achieved alone.
As the farm continues to expand, more and more volunteers are needed to help in a variety of different jobs around the facility. As a volunteer, you will work with people from the community to plant, transplant, cultivate, harvest, and wash all fruits and vegetables grown at the farm throughout the year. The farm grows a number of different crops like radish, eggplant, carrots, berries, apples, and pears. The work of a volunteer depends on the daily plan of activities on the farm. This can vary based on the time of year, weather, and what generally needs to get done on the farm.
If you’re interested in working with Sharing the Harvest, you can contact them through their website, ymcasouthcoast.org, or just stop by Monday-Wednesday 9 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 5 PM, or Saturday 9 AM to 12 PM. Bring some old clothes to wear and be ready to learn and have fun while helping the community! People of all ages and abilities can help, and a day at the farm makes for a great educational field trip. Without the efforts of volunteers, there would be no farm, so help feed your community and have a blast playing in the dirt at the same time!
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