Volunteering at Wild Willow Farm
Hours: Saturdays, 10am to 3pm
Open Community Volunteering
No experience necessary.
No reservations required (except as noted below).
Volunteer for all or a portion of the hours listed.
Open Volunteering is for individuals, families or friends in groups of five or fewer that need no additional facilitation and can be split up into tasks. Any group larger than five that wants to work together and requires special facilitation would be a Group Activity.
Come to the farm and participate in your food system as we grow Wild Willow Farm. Often the best way to learn is by doing, and you'll get a taste of the myriad things a farmer does while preparing and growing San Diego seasonal plantings of vegetables, greens, medicinal and culinary herbs and cover crops.
On-farm chores vary widely week to week and depend entirely on what's happening at the farm that day. Usual activities include composting (hands-on learning every week), watering, bed prep, weeding, mulching, animal care, planting and tending a huge range of plants and more.
No reservations are required. We've got gloves, tools and tasks; please come prepared for sunshine, cold, heat and working in the dirt. We have bugs too, so please bring any medications you need for that. This is especially important with small children.
Appropriate attire: closed-toe shoes (no sandals), long pants and sleeves, sun hat.
Bring: sunscreen, drinking water, snacks or lunch. Please pack out your trash and recyclables.
We welcome people of all ages and abilities, but please leave your pets at home.
We are open for school community service hours. If you are under 18, please arrive with a parent or guardian to check you in and give you permission to participate (parents/guardians do not need to stay). Please let us know at check-in if you need us to sign-off on your required paperwork.
Court-Ordered Community Service Hours for Youth (17 and under): Youth may volunteer on the farm to fulfill court-ordered community service hours on a case-by-case basis only. Prior to coming to the farm, interested youth and parents must contact the volunteer coordinator by e-mail to make arrangements. This communication will help us make sure that the young person and our staff are prepared for the service hours. We will not verify any court-ordered service without prior arrangement.
Court-Ordered Community Service Hours for Adults: At this time, we do not allow court-ordered community service hours for adults.
You may bring kids of any age you feel suitable to be around a farm, including contact with dirt, bugs, biting ants, thistles and burrs, farm animals, tools, and nature. Rest assured we do not use any harmful chemicals on the soil or food we grow. Children must remain under your direct supervision or awareness at all times; we'll do our best to find appropriate activities for your family. Please no unacompanied children unless by prior arrangement, such as for school service hours. Wild Willow Farm does not offer childcare services and the farm is not a playground.
Volunteering with children under 10 years old: Volunteering activities are limited for younger children on the farm. We offer participation in a variety of activities, but it is important to note that children under the age of 10 are not permitted to volunteer in our vegetable fields. When available, volunteer activities for young children include feeding our goats and chickens, assisting with compost activities, weeding, and seed-saving.
Although volunteer activities are limited, your time on the farm is not. Young children and parents are welcome to visit the farm during public volunteer hours to walk, observe things happening on the farm, meet our animals, or even enjoy a picnic lunch in our barn.