Thursday, February 18, 2010

Volunteer Opportunities in the Pioneer Valley area

I've been spending a lot of my days working with some great organizations: Sirius Community, Tripple Brook Farm (plant nursery) and soon, Nuestras Raices.

Nuestras RaĆ­ces Farm is an urban community farm that supports beginning immigrant and refugee farmers, grows small businesses, and celebrates the Latino community of Holyoke MA. We have compost on site, and plan to construct a larger compost area in the future, and we are seeking a volunteer compost manager to increase our capacity to manage and use our compost effectively.

If anyone in the area is looking for some great permaculture-related projects to get involved with, please contact me! I'm willing and able to drive (I will be driving myself anyway, so it is no problem!) and can introduce you since it is sometimes intimidating to go to new places by yourself.

Here is an e-mail I just sent out to some folks about the Nuestras Raices compost management volunteer opportunity:

Hey fellow volunteers,

I'm writing this message because Nuestras Raices is looking for a few people to help create a compost management plan. See the attached description.

I spent a bunch of time working with compost during the month of January - volunteering at Growing Power (Will Allen) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Amy sent out a message about Will speaking at the White House last week.) Their organization picks up about 6 million pounds of food waste each year and turns it into soil for the farms! We're certainly not trying to collect THAT much right away at Nuestras Raices, but there is certainly some small-scale local restaurants, schools, churches that we can partner with.

Even if you don't have composting experience but are interested in helping, please send Amy or myself an e-mail. This could be a really fun and rewarding project - thinking in terms of the environmental and social action issues of our time and how closely they are related. So let's turn some "waste" into something useful, help heal the land, and build community simultaneously. And then eventually, you will learn to love compost as much as I do!

Other projects happening right now include finishing construction of a straw bale garage (being turned into a studio for future living space!) at Sirius Community in Shutesbury, MA. Here are a few pictures of our progress so far. I usually go on Thursday mornings, or Friday / Saturdays.

Finally, Tripple Brook farm is a plant nursey in Southampton, MA that pays in plant credit! If you are in need of plants (which also make great gifts for people in the spring) or just want to feel more connected to nature during these cold winter months, e-mail me ( I have A LOT of yard to fill for the upcoming spring, so I will be at Tripple Brook every Saturday and/or Sunday from now until spring.

Link to my previous post about Tripple Brook.

That's all for now, hope to hear from some of you awesome people soon!


1 comment:

  1. I love following your work and appreciate so much that you chronicle your experiences here. I am curious about projects like Tripple Brook Farm. How do they (and you) handle the tax issue? As I am sure you know, the federal government and many state governments require barter transactions to be listed as income. Not sure how it works, as the only time I looked into it, many years ago, I decided it would require too much bookkeeping to be worthwhile.

    As I plan ways I might stretch my very thin retirement dollars, barter seems one possibility, but that bookkeeping/tax issue stymies me.

    Just curious whether you or Tripple Book Farm has a system for managing the transactions in a way that keeps the tax people happy, I'd love to hear about it.