This is a guest post from Yael Haar, one of Fresh Roots’ star volunteers.
As a volunteer for Fresh Roots, I have experienced what happens behind the scenes of the non-profit sector. When I started volunteering, I assisted with farm work. Moving compost from one space to another was not my definition of fun, but at the end of my volunteer shift I felt accomplished. Knowing that food would later be grown in the beds I helped shape was a rewarding feeling. While working on the farm I also got to know the other volunteers. It was refreshing to socialize with people who shared my interest in urban farming and local food.
Over the course of the season, I transitioned into volunteering with the weekly Good Food Markets at David Thompson Secondary. I have enjoyed my experience working at the markets, as I learned what really goes into a farmers’ market and what different factors play a part. Over the summer, there were many beautiful days on which markets were held and many veggies were to be bought. I enjoyed sharing recipes and being able to form relationships with people in the community. Although sometimes I did not wish to drive in Vancouver traffic all the way to David Thompson school, once I was there I felt good about being outside with people and making a contribution to the community.
Every week, I would see familiar faces come by and spread the word to keen new customers. This was particularly exciting, as I watched the network of Fresh Roots grow. Overtime, markets became more routine and I was able to connect more with the other volunteers and staff. Most importantly, I have been able to eat fresh, local and organic vegetables each week, which is a huge benefit! It is also exciting to see new events happen, like the South Vancouver Harvest festival which just took place. As I continue to volunteer with Fresh Roots, it is gratifying to be part of a team which focuses on connecting people back to food and watching the community grow.
To learn more about current volunteer opportunities, check out freshroots.ca/volunteer. See you in the fields soon!