Growing Food for People in Need
As one of Food Bank for Westchester’s five Food Growing Program farm sites, Westchester Land Trust's half-acre Sugar Hill Farm headquarters supplies much needed fresh produce to area food pantries and soup kitchens.
In 2015, our Sugar Hill Farm harvest totaled nearly 1,700 pounds of vegetables - or the equivalent of 16,866 servings. It's no secret that volunteers are an essential part of the program's success. From planting seedlings in the spring to weeding, tending, and harvesting crops all summer and into the fall, our volunteers make it happen!
WLT offers twice-monthly volunteer gatherings from April through October (see our list of volunteer days below). The bulk of our farm work is accomplished through these work days. We strive to recruit a diverse range of individuals and families to volunteer with us and welcome all ages and abilities to connect with each other, the environment, and their food, through exploration on the farm. Sign up to learn about sustainable agriculture and make a tangible impact on hunger in our community.
Do I need to know anything about farming?
Absolutely not! Many of our volunteers have never even set foot in a garden before. WLT staff and volunteer team leaders will be present to show you what to do when you arrive.
How should I dress?
Prepare to get dirty, especially if it has rained recently. Bring or wear rain gear if rain is in the forecast. Close-toed shoes must be worn for your safety. Do not wear sandals. Pants are recommended at all times.
What should I bring?
It's important for keeping hydrated in the field, so bring a water bottle. Sugar Hill Farm has rest rooms and a kitchen for refills. A hat with a brim will keep the sun out of your eyes. Sunscreen will keep you from getting burned. We have plenty of work gloves, but you’re welcome to bring your own, especially if you have smaller hands.
What kinds of tasks can volunteers expect to tackle during a typical session?
There are a number of tasks involved in growing vegetables, including:
- transplanting young plants into the beds
- seeding directly into the fields
- weeding, mowing, & trimming the rows
- hand watering; moving sprinkler
- adding compost to the beds
- harvesting and sorting crops