We are a nonprofit urban farming collective that converts backyard lawns into gardens, tends crops with 100% volunteer labor, and distributes the produce to food-insecure people. As a Work Share Member, you’ll be part of a movement that is eliminating food insecurity for the poorest people in Rochester!
Work Share Members decide along with the homeowners who donate their lawns and the food-insecure people we serve how we grow. Unlike a CSA share from a local farm, the volunteer corps determines the crops we plant, the methods we employ to garden, and where we go as an organization.
We need lots of volunteers to maintain our ever-expanding gardens, but there are other ways for Work Share Members to fulfill their seasonal hours. Help out in the Alliance by delivering produce boxes and other material goods, help coordinate other volunteers, spread the word about our movement, or help procure the supples and equipment we need to accomplish our goals.
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is when community members buy a share of a farmer’s production before he or she plants. Normally, a CSA share runs through the growing season, with members receiving a box of fresh vegetables weekly. At Revolutionary Earth, we consider all of our backyard gardens as one collective farm. Most of our shares are delivered directly to food-insecure subscribers in Rochester, but we reserve some shares for the homeowners who let us borrow their lawns and for work share members.
Most organic farms that run a CSA also offer a work share program, and Revolutionary Earth Farm is no different. To receive a weekly box of produce throughout the growing season (a full share), we ask for fifty hours of total volunteer labor in the 2020 season, which averages out to about an hour a week. We also offer a “half share,” a box every other week, for twenty-five hours of total volunteer labor. Things get busier during the growing season, of course, but there are also things to do in the off-season.
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.
We try to make sure everyone will spend some time on the Farm, since it’s the heart of what we do, but we also want to put every volunteer’s talents and abilities to good use. We need volunteers to help with delivery and procurement, marketing, finances, and just about anything else you can think of.
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.
We are at capacity for the coming year for our gardens. We can only take new backyards if they come with new volunteers to work the yard. Our preparation of new gardens is labor-intensive, so we try to make sure we get as much out of our current gardens as we can.