Thanks to scores of volunteers, the meticulously prepared rows at the JK Community Farm south of Round Hill are filled with seedlings—some 9,000 vegetable plants that will provide nearly 30,000 meals to residents in the region.
It is the third growing season at the farm, and the second time volunteers have been invited to help with the spring plantathon.
Because of social distancing requirements, the work this year was shared by small groups of 10 and spread out over two days, but still drew 120 volunteers
“Normally, the plantathon is a lot of companies, but this year it has been a lot of community members, which is great,” said Executive Director Samantha Kuhn.
On Saturday morning, a group from JK Moving and Storage was at work planning banana peppers. They were joined by company founder Chuck Kuhn, who established the community garden in 2018 to provide fresh, organic produce to area food banks.
The farm grows sweet potatoes, lettuce, kale, Swiss chard, turnips, tomatoes, zucchini and lots and lots of peppers—mild, spicy and sweet.
Working with smaller groups of volunteers during this year’s planting was something new for Farm Manager Michael Smith.
“Here at the farm, we are grateful for any volunteers that we get. So, we just try to utilize the opportunities we have in any way that we can,” he said. “Whether we have 10 or we have 100, it usually seems to work out nice.”
“All the volunteers have a wonderful attitude, a great work ethic and we try not to be our here too long so they have a chance to enjoy it and get their hands dirty, but not leave exhausted and overwhelmed,” he said.
The farm offers volunteer opportunities, corporate team building programs and tours throughout the spring, summer and fall. For more information, go to jkcommunityfarm.org/volunteer.