By Kathy Chouteau
Farms to Grow, Inc., an Oakland nonprofit that’s been advocating for Black and other underrepresented farmers for nearly two decades, has launched its latest Urban Garden Project in Richmond and is looking for volunteers to give it a helping hand. An added perk? Those that commit to assisting the nonprofit will receive free food.
The urban garden is located on a lot near Barrett Avenue used by CURME (Community United Restoring Mother Earth). Volunteers will be taught new skills by the nonprofit, or strengthen their existing skills in planting, irrigation, composting, soil fertility, harvesting and seed saving, said Farms to Grow, Inc.
Farms to Grow Executive Director Elaine Smith said that they need “as many as we can get” in terms of volunteers. She said that volunteers work every first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then every Tuesday and Thursday at the same time. Those who sign up will receive free food if they complete their project, but, she said half-jokingly, “They got to put their hands in the dirt to get it.”
In an email to the Richmond Standard, the nonprofit said that their “volunteer engagements allow for the community to proactively aid Richmond’s residents in moving towards a more self-sufficient and sustainable way of living.”
The nonprofit said it is dedicated to promoting the sustainability of Black farmers including next gen small farmers. “We work towards improving the access to urban food markets including schools, restaurants, and individual consumers for Black and underserved farmers.”