Workshare volunteer #1
If urban farming, market gardening or farming in general is something you’re pursuing, and are on the path towards becoming, and you have a day a week you’d like to spend volunteering to learn some skills and knowledge, let’s have a chat and see whether spending time around Spoke & Spade could be useful for both of us.
Firstly, can you commit to one day per week for three months+ or 12 days? I’ve had a lot of people come through the farm, and this year, I’m not as interested in opening up my home, and investing time into sharing with folks that are likely only hobby gardeners. I love that, but this workshare volunteer is really about trying to see you bounce into a career involved with or starting in small scale organic agriculture.
I tend towards sharing a lot of content if you’re open to it, and so will work closely with people who do volunteer. I like to showcase my respect and gratitude for any work, with that transference of knowledge but also with a small box of our farm produce. The real exchange i suppose is knowledge and networking, and an understanding that my own work so early on in this business, doesn’t yet pay enough to offer any paid positions. I like to try offer morning tea and celebrate lunch, sometimes its a bit chaotic with 3 urban properties to work at, actually get shit done, as well as coordinate lunch… so being good with the flow is helpful etc etc.
I’m currently looking to consolidate the day we offer workshare to be on the same day weekly, so best to put forward your best days and then days that still may work for you and I’ll get back to you!
Hours are 9:30am - 4:30pm (or 7 hrs).
If you are interested to work and learn with me (Sim) one day a week answer the form at bottom of page.
I think it’s best for me as the farmer, and you too, to work together with a couple people at a time, so I’ve currently got a couple workshare vollies expressing interest to start, and will get back to them later in May when we kick off. Don’t expect an immediate reply back from your form… sorry for the tardiness on my behalf, i’m currently trying to juggle side family work alongside this business, and in offering a workshare, it’s in one respect more work than help to me…however, I’m super keen to see more farmers start and let’s start creating change together.
What's volunteering workshare involve?
There's a lot you can learn over 3 months of weekly involvement so if you're keen to learn how to garden on scale, or start your own urban or larger farm, I think this is a good run through in skill building as I've only just started myself and open to sharing the steps, challenges and successes.
Bring: Hat, outdoor clothing, a jacket for post harvest washing and boots that can get grubby.
I am quite open for sharing and to questions, I'll try my best to assist your interests, however progressed, into gardening/urban farming/market gardening. If you're volunteering with others, they're often a bonus source of information and potential collaboration too. My farm book collection is open for borrowing.
As you volunteer we can cover these topics (and more) to the best of my knowledge.
Bed Preparation & Soil/fertilizer management
Direct Seeding (tools)
Pest management (likely with a local entomologist I barter with)
Harvest - techniques, equipment.
Selling (CSA, Farmer's Market, Wholesale)
Marketing & Social Media
Finance/business and the world of spreadsheets (I'll share open book if this is helpful).
At least 1hr working through your plans if you have any you want to work through.
Resources (supplier lists, online courses, books/channels)
Regenerative, Biodynamic, Organic agriculture. I'm young and quite new but have a little knowledge on these methods and am interested in these topics.
Lunch is about an 1hr and we usually have fresh baked bread, fresh goats milk and a farm outside for vegetables/eggs and home made condiments. Sometimes we'll cook up something. Lunch is a great time for in-depth questions or just chilling out. Feel free to assist prep making tea, cutting veggies, picking baby spinach and generally setting or cleaning up for lunch.
You're welcome to listen to your own audiobooks/podcasts/music if you want your own space whilst volunteering too.
Activities we might get up to are: Seeding, Greenhouse work, Direct seeding, Transplanting, Harvesting, Washing, Packing, Weeding, Preparing soil-work, Cleaning up the yard, Sharpening tools, discussing strategies/decisions, forward (bring an active brain as I'll ask you questions too) and much more.
Casual volunteering #2
We’re full with volunteering casually at the moment - but I’d highly recommend getting involved with CERES Market Garden Joe with Farmer Em, who is an absolute legend with a team of fun folks to be around.
You can also check out Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) to see more farms, hobby farmers who might offer hands on experience here in Australia or abroad!
Lastly, check out https://agtalent.training/ to see an Australian platform for learning experiences if you’re really keen to get involved in urban farming, market gardening or farming abroad.