Volunteers Lend a Hand at ‘Farm Madness’ Workday

On Saturday, March 21, over 50 volunteers and staff took a break from college hoops and spent the morning sprucing up IFFS’s Tryon Road Teaching Farm. The workday brought together local agriculture enthusiasts, Nutrition Education instructors, groups from NC State University Agronomy Club, Methodist Home for Children, Activate Good, as well as families and individuals. Which is the neat thing about working within our community’s food system – it unites us all.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="3" gal_title="Farm Madness] Despite the cold, damp weather everyone was excited to be at the Teaching Farm, and many dressed in school colors to show support for their favorite NCAA basketball teams.

“The fact that people were willing to come out on a messy, cold day and do this work for us is huge,” said IFFS Director of Nutrition & Agriculture Education Jill Brown, MS DTR. dd4

After some coffee, the group split into smaller teams to tackle projects of all shapes and sizes. Volunteers, dismantled old picnic tables, dug irrigation trenches from the water spigot to the Incubator Farmer plots, painted the new Classroom and Farm Office, scraped old honeycomb from the beehives, and made critical repairs to the Egg House.

Additionally, after disassembling an outdated aquaponics system during February’s ‘Love the Farm’ Workday, volunteers completed the next phase of construction on a new system by priming, painting, and laying down layers of crushed stone and dirt.

ee3“We got the egg shed scraped, primer, and paint on it, and put new doors on it,” said Brown. “We also got the trench done, got one whole picnic table assembled and all the wood cut for the rest of the tables. We got the aquaponics in really good shape, and the beehives ready for the bees. And then up front, we got the homestyle garden beds ready and painted the road sign and front kiosk.”

“It would have taken us six months to get that work done on the farm ourselves with all the other work we have growing food,” said IFFS Farm Manager Kay Coleman.

“What was surprising is most people wanted a dirty, sweaty job,” Brown added. “They wanted to do trenching, they wanted to get dirty and do some serious labor!”

Of course, no trip to the Teaching Farm is complete without spending some time playing with our loveable chickens and goats! Our hard-working volunteers did just that once their projects were completed.

For a quick glimpse at what the day was like, watch this slideshow made by volunteer Emma Brown:


By Lindsay Humbert, IFFS Digital Media Specialist. Contact: Lindsay@FoodShuttle.org