Mother Earth Farm

 

Mother Earth Farm for Web

What is Mother Earth Farm?

Mother Earth Farm is an 8-acre organic farm located in the beautiful Puyallup Valley. The farm distributes 80,000 pounds of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs to Pierce County food banks and meal sites. Food from the farm is available to food banks within 24-hours of harvest.

It would not be possible to provide this fresh food option to people in need without the help from volunteers. In the spring, volunteers at the farm assist with seeding, weeding, and irrigation. In the summer and fall, the focus is on weeding and harvesting.

If you would like to learn more about volunteering at Mother Earth Farm or to register, check out our Frequently Asked Questions below or contact our Volunteer Coordinator at (253) 584-1040 or e-mail volunteer@efoodnet.org.

2016 Volunteer Opportunities at the Farm

20150912_113708Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
April 30 – September 24, 2016
Come out for one day a month or once a week! Helping hands are needed on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Morning sessions (9:00 am – 12:00 pm) and afternoon sessions (12:30 – 3:30 pm) are available. Registration is required. 

Check out our Volunteer Calendar here to see what dates are available.

2016 Special Events at the Farm

matty_20150404_98187Draft Horse Plow
Saturday, April 2, 2016
Join us out on the farm this April for our annual draft horse plow! You’ll have a chance to watch horses till and fertilize our fields, check out the greenhouse while it’s full of starts, and admire the start of spring in our orchard. Bring the whole family!

 

MEF Youth Days SquareYouth Days
Saturday, June 25 and Friday, August 26, 2016
Youths age 8-15 are invited to participate in a half-day outdoor classroom experience to learn about the day-to-day activities that take place at the farm and the importance of preserving the Puyallup Valley’s pristine farmland. Youths will also have the opportunity to be a volunteer at the farm and help make a difference to food-insecure residents in our community. Youths need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Waiver_Button_2016

Frequently Asked Questions for Volunteers

Q: Do you accept drop-in volunteers?
A: Registration is required. Due to safety reasons and limited capacity at the farm, we ask volunteers to not drop-in. Registration closes for Saturday and Sunday sessions on Friday at 3:00 pm. At this time, we do not have online registration. To register, please contact our Coordinator of Volunteer Activities at (2253) 584-1040 or at volunteer@efoodnet.org.

Q: Where is Mother Earth Farm?
A: Mother Earth Farm is located between Sumner and Orting on Highway 162. Directions to the farm are provided with registration.

Q: What do volunteers do at the farm?
A: We always try to make sure that you have the opportunity to perform different tasks during your volunteer day. These may include transplanting, seeding, harvesting, laying irrigation lines, or just about anything that needs to be done, and because weeding is such an important job almost all volunteers will spend some portion of their time helping out with weeds (and just about everyone ends up liking it!).

Q: Why is weeding so important?
A: Weeding is one of the most urgent tasks out at the farm. This is because weeds compete with our crops for nutrients. In order to grow as much healthy produce as we responsibly can for our food banks, we try to eliminate weeds that would otherwise take up minerals, water, sunlight, and space. It’s easiest to get rid of weeds when they are small, so we weed frequently, before they have a chance to overtake our crops. If you are not physically able to weed we can accommodate your needs without issue.

Q: Why can’t I volunteer Monday through Thursday?
A: Our crew from the Washington Correctional Center for Women works at the farm Monday through Thursday, while volunteer days are Fridays and Saturdays. We don’t allow volunteers the rest of the week for a few reasons. First, our contract with WCCW does not allow members of the public to be present at the farm while the crew is working. Second, the crew is at the farm as part of an educational and work program, and we want to ensure that we meet our responsibility to them as teachers and supervisors. Thirdly, we also hope to make your volunteer experience meaningful, and try to devote time to you during your time with us. We think that everyone’s experience will benefit from the added attention we can share.

Q: Is farming or gardening experience required?
A: No experience is needed to volunteer at the farm. EFN staff will be on site to provide you with training and supervision. Gloves and tools will be provided. Volunteers are welcome to bring a lunch and enjoy the picnic area.

Q: Can I bring a group?
A: Volunteering at Mother Earth Farm is a great opportunity for business, civic, and school groups to work together while giving back to our community. Group sizes up to 20 can be accommodated. If you have a larger group, we may be able to accommodate you. To ensure we have projects available for your group, registration is required.

Q: Can I bring children or a youth group to volunteer?
Yes, all ages are welcome to volunteer at Mother Earth Farm! We do not have a minimum age to volunteer. Please remember though, Mother Earth Farm is a working farm. This means we use and operate tractors, heavy machinery and sharp tools throughout the day. To ensure a safe and enjoyable volunteer experience, we ask that youth volunteers ages 15 and under to be accompanied by an adult throughout the entire volunteer session.

Q: Why do you use organic practices at Mother Earth Farm?
Organic farming is defined as not using synthetic or chemical fertilizers, herbicides or insecticides. We instead rely on existing ecosystem functions to grow food. We use crop rotation, biological tools, and mechanical tools to promote biological biodiversity which in turn increases plant, soil, insect, and farm health. In addition, by not using pesticides and chemical fertilizers our farm is also a safer place to volunteer and work—an important factor for us as we rely on the hard work of volunteers to make Mother Earth Farm run!