Group Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

General Volunteer Information

Volunteering at EarthDance is a great way to get active, learn about organic farming, and directly impact the Good Food movement! There’s nothing more exciting and fulfilling than helping to grow food and community here in Ferguson. We’re always looking for individuals and groups to help out on the farm and in our office. Current volunteer needs include:

  • Graphic Design
  • Farm Photography
  • Community Outreach
  • Mowing during the Spring, Summer, and Fall
  • Landscaping
  • Trash Pick-Up
  • Farm & Garden work
  • Special Event Staffing
  • Office Cleaning and Organization
  • Publicity Archiving
  • Material Collection and Drop Off
  • Data Entry
  • And more!

Be sure to check our Facebook page and website often for new opportunities! Below are some Frequently Asked Questions for both individual and group volunteers.

 

Group Volunteers FAQ

 

How many people are required to volunteer as a group at EarthDance?

  • We accept group sizes from 5-50 people. However, during the early spring and winter we might not be able to accommodate large groups due to decreased workload on the farm.

How does my group schedule a volunteer opportunity?

  • Sign up directly on our website!

Do I need to have an exact number of volunteers participating when I schedule an event?

  • Please have an estimated number of volunteers when you schedule an event. A firm number can be confirmed one week before your scheduled volunteer day. We understand that people may drop out at the last minutes or sign-ups might be less than expected. That’s okay! But please let us know as soon as you know, so we can plan accordingly.

How far in advance does my group need to schedule a volunteer event?

  • Our calendar fills up fast, so the sooner the better! We can schedule your event as far as 6 months in advance, but we need at least two weeks notice. It’s possible your preferred date may not be available. If so, we will send you alternative dates to join us on the farm!

What is your cancellation policy?

  • If your group must cancel a volunteer event, please let us know at least two weeks in advance. This allows us time to schedule another group. If your group size drops below 5 volunteers, please let us know as soon as possible.

On what days does EarthDance accept volunteer groups?

  • Days and times available to schedule group volunteers are:
    • Tuesdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Thursdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Fridays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Saturdays 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

How long does a group typically volunteer?

  • We ask that groups volunteer for at least 3 hours. This allows enough time for orientation and training, volunteering, and clean-up. But our staff would be happy to work with you longer! A full day volunteering will give your group the opportunity to experience many different aspects of farm life.

Can my group volunteer more than once or on a regular basis?

  • YES!!! We absolutely love having people return and work with us often. It not only allows us to work with experienced volunteers but also allows your group deeper knowledge and understanding of EarthDance and the importance of organic farming! It’s our dream scenario!

Can children volunteer?

  • Due to our current staffing and farm needs at EarthDance, we are only able to accept volunteers over the age of 14. But we love having youth out to the farm for a tour or field trip! Contact Kaitie for more info!

Are there any accessibility issues my group needs to be aware of?

  • While we are in the process of making our farm property more accessible to all bodies, there are many areas that are not. The road from the street onto the farm property is steep and paved with gravel. Our property is unpaved with uneven surfaces including grass, mulched areas, and soil farm beds. Our bathrooms are not wheelchair accessible. We are working hard to fix these issues in an effort to welcome all people to our farm.

Is there a bathroom on site?

  • Yes. Our bathroom is located in the basement of our farmhouse office.

Will there be water available?

  • Absolutely! We will provide a cooler jug of fresh water for your group. Please bring a reusable water bottle to fill up throughout your shift.

Where should volunteers park?

  • Volunteers are encouraged to take public transportation or to carpool if possible. If driving, please park along Dade Ave. On-farm parking is reserved for staff and those who need greater accessibility. If your group is coming by school bus or shuttle, please let us know.

Where do volunteers meet at EarthDance?

  • Volunteers should be on time and meet at the shaded picnic tables behind the red brick farmhouse at 233 S. Dade Ave. When you arrive please sign-in and be ready to begin!

Can volunteers bring food and drink?

  • Of course! We’ll take breaks to fuel up during your time with us. Your group is also welcome to picnic on site before or after your volunteer event. Please bring along a trash bag and dispose of your trash off-site. We will have recycling and compost bins available.

What should volunteers wear?

  • Volunteers should dress for the weather and must wear long pants and closed toed shoes. Volunteers who are not properly dressed will not be allowed to participate in certain activities. Keep an eye on the sky and dress in layers for comfort. Rain gear and a good pair of boots are recommended no matter the weather!

What type of work do volunteers do at EarthDance?

  • All kinds! Possible tasks may include weeding, planting, seeding, harvesting, mulching, invasive species removal, trash pick-up, organizing, cleaning, composting, chicken chores, farm maintenance, and a variety of other tasks. Many, if not all, of these projects, will include walking, lifting, bending, kneeling, squatting, twisting, and dancing! Please let us know if this will be an issue with members of your group. Kaitie will confirm the tasks for your group the week before you join us. Needs change with the season, so volunteer often to try your hand at different farming projects!

Do volunteers need farming or gardening experience to volunteer?

  • Nope! If you are an ace farmer or gardener, awesome. If you’ve never stepped on a farm before, awesome. Education is a big part of what we do, so we welcome folks of all backgrounds, skills, and passions.

What does a typical group-volunteer event look like?

  • On the day of your event, we’ll welcome your group and have everyone sign a volunteer waiver. Next, we’ll introduce you to EarthDance and to each other, go over the projects your group will be completing, gather tools and materials, demonstrate the tasks at hand, then get to work! We will take breaks often for socializing and snacking. At the end of your time with us, we’ll wrap up our project, clean and put back tools, and talk about what we’ve accomplished and learned.

Does volunteering include a tour of the farm?

  • Group volunteer events normally include a short 5-minute tour. If you would like the full 45-minute tour of EarthDance, let us know when you schedule your group and we’ll include it in your time with us.

Do volunteers need to bring tools or supplies?

  • Unless your group has previously talked with Kaitie about a special project, volunteers do not need to bring any tool or supplies.

Will there be work gloves available?

  • Yep! But if you have a special pair you love to wear, bring them along.  Ours tend to run big and ugly. But really protective and productive!

With whom should I speak for more information?

  • That’s me! Your friendly EarthDance Volunteer Coordinator Petra Petermann. Feel free to e-mail me (volunteer@earthdancefarms. org) or call (314-521-1006) anytime!