ERIN – Rain may have been making things soggy in the fields of Bella Farm near Hillsburgh on Saturday, but precipitation didn’t dampen the spirits of the volunteers participating in a community harvest event for The Seed.
The volunteer harvest days are part of The Seed’s Good Food Project.
Co-hosted by Everdale Farm, the community harvest days see carrots, potatoes, beets, squash and more from the fields for distribution through The Seed and 13 other food-provision agencies in Guelph-Wellington.
“Since September, we’ve been helping out our local farm friends here in Wellington County with harvesting. So farms like Everdale, which is right up the road and then Bella, right here, actually have great partnerships with The Seed, which is a community food project of the Guelph Community Health Centre,” explained Shearin Fahandazh, customer service coordinator for The Seed, at an Oct. 30 community harvest.
“They have a great partnership with helping to try and harvest as many nutritious goods in the area as possible to help redistribute to the county and to the people of Guelph.”
Fahandazh added, “Our hope is to try and get as much good food out into the community as possible. So we have great teams of volunteers that come out to help.”
“I certainly enjoy it. It’s different,” said volunteer Loraine Johnston, of Guelph.
Johnston said she has been working on a casual basis of late, “so I’m finding other things to do and I want to do volunteer work. So this is one of my volunteer opportunities.”
Fahandazh said community harvest volunteers are a diverse group.
“We have everyone. They’re very family-friendly events, too. So we’ve had everything from young families come out, to some local schools as well come and help,” Fahandazh noted.
“We also have great local farmers that are just in the area that come to help out and distribute as well.”
Community harvest days usually wrap up by early November, but this year wet weather and other factors have hindered the work.
“We’re actually extending our harvesting days. The next weekend was supposed to be our last weekend, but as we still have quite a bit in the ground to come out we do have quite a few more days coming up,” said Fahandazh.
Anyone interested in participating in a community harvest or one of Seed’s other volunteer programs should check out The Seed website at theseedguelph.ca or Eventbrite pages.
“That’s a great way to find out all of our information about how to get involved and help out,” Fahandazh explained.
“We have great opportunities other than just the harvesting days here in the field,” all aimed at “helping bring more nutritious food to people in the community, regardless of income.”