A Revolutionary Earth farmer agrees to work 85 hours of the season (about 4 hours per week) on Revolutionary Earth Farm, what we call the collection of large-scale gardens we maintain in Rochester.
Each farmer is assigned to 1–2 gardens along with a few other farmers. The team of farmers at each garden cooperates together to plant, tend, and harvest their garden.
In return, each farmer receives a full share CSA (Compassion-Supported Agriculture) produce box (10–15 lbs. of produce each week, 16–20 weeks, from June to October).
Olmsted county master gardeners provide all of our farmers with educational support. Master gardeners often have years of experience and excellent training in how to grow great gardens. They’ll give advice and support, not from their armchairs, but right there with you in the gardens. If you’re feeling unsure of your gardening ability, you’re the kind of person we can help become a better gardener.
We curate all of our produce boxes, which means we let our subscribers, stewards, and farmers decide what vegetables, fruits, and herbs they receive in their own produce boxes. Don’t like eggplant? We’ll give you more of something else. Want lots of fresh basil to make pesto? We can do that.
We’re a volunteer-led movement for change in Rochester. If you want to help lead the farmer corps or help to organize some other aspect of Revolutionary Earth, the opportunities are plentiful. You can be on a team that coordinates all of the growing everywhere, or make big decisions about what we grow, the methods we use to grow, and where we go as an organization. If you want to lead, you’re supported by a leadership structure of almost fifty other volunteers as dedicated as you, ready to help you lead a movement to end hunger in Rochester, MN.
From time to time, we have more produce than our subscribers need, so we distribute the extra to our volunteers. We also provide milk, eggs, bread, and other local food items to our subscribers, which farmers also receive.
The short answer is, don’t worry about it. Life gets busy, we understand. Missing a week now and then is no big deal. But, it’s also important to remember that our gardens don’t take time off. They’re always growing and always need attention. We need our farmers to be reliable gardeners who show up pretty much weekly to help our gardens flourish.
We’re an outdoor organization; we don’t even have an indoor location. Hot sun, heavy rain, windy days, we’ve learned to accept whatever Mother Earth sends us if the gardens need tending. We protect our processing center with temporary shelters and can usually reschedule a work day if the clouds look too dark.
We’ll consider up to three people sharing the job of a farmer if they’re willing to coordinate between themselves.
We’ll work hard to make this option available to as many farmers as possible, but our priority is making sure our food-insecure subscribers receive their produce boxes every week. If you have mobility issues, let us know.
Not at all! We have found that learning together how to garden is the best way to have a rewarding experience. Some of us are master gardeners, some of us have almost no clue what to do, but we work together and have fun, make mistakes and learn from them.
Our gardens are scattered around the city, so we should be able to find one that is close to you. We don’t disclose the location of our gardens until we have met you and gotten you signed up to volunteer.
When we have shortages, we find ways to supplement what we have. We partner with organic farms and other backyard gardeners to ensure that we never run out of fresh produce. And, we’ve been known to purchase wholesale right from the farmer’s market just to make sure everyone gets fed.