Volunteering at Wild Willow Farm
New Hours: Saturdays, 10am to 3pm (wet weather cancels)
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 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.
No experience necessary. Everyone welcome.
The farm is a great place for people of all ages and abilities. You'll get to work with Wild Willow Farm farmers, team leaders and interns. WWF is an educational farm, so there's no experience required, and we'll teach you everything you need to know to be involved. Don't hesitate to ask us any questions, and we're happy to offer advice for your home gardens when time permits. You'll have the opportunity to be involved with the large variety of activities we do every day: from caring for our animals (goats, chickens, and ducks), to planting and propagation, compost making, bed preparation and much much more.
Location: Click here for a map (recommended)
2550 Sunset Avenue, San Diego 92154 (not a mailing address)
DIRECTIONS: Take I-5 South through Chula Vista, exit at Tocayo Ave. Proceed on Tocayo Avenue west to Hollister (second light). Turn left on Hollister. Proceed on Hollister to Sunset (second stop sign). Turn left on Sunset. Go 400 yards east on Sunset and turn right onto the dirt road just beyond the Sun Grown Distributors sign. Proceed down the dirt road about 300 yards, past the greenhouses and Sun Grown warehouse. Our farm begins just beyond the warehouse.
PUBLIC TRANSIT: Take the Blue Line Trolley south toward San Ysidro, exit at the Iris Station. Transfer to the 934 Bus west, exit at the corner of Tocayo Ave. & Hollister (a short trip). Walk or bike south on Hollister to Sunset (second stop sign). Turn left and walk 300 yards east till you see our sign on the right-hand side of the road, just before the County Park. Turn right and proceed down the dirt road about 300 yards, past the greenhouses and Sun Grown warehouse. Our farm begins just beyond the warehouse.
If you'd like to volunteer and have questions, please contact our volunteer coordinator, Diego Duran:
We’re growing with your help!
San Diego Roots was formed to strengthen the local food movement in the San Diego region and to create a sustainable urban-rural partnership that brings healthy local food to our communities and sustains the working landscapes and people that feed us.
San Diego Roots is a volunteer-run non-profit organization. Get involved! Find a project that matches your interests and sign up for our volunteer database!
SD Roots Projects
Wild Willow Farm & Education Center
Open Volunteering on First and Third Saturdays, 11am to 2pm.
Come to the farm and participate in your food system as we build Wild Willow Farm. Help us lay out the various farming and teaching areas, build beds & plant, mulch paths and beds, install irrigation, and get things ready for major seasonal plantings of vegetables, greens, medicinal and culinary herbs and cover crops.
Victory Gardens San Diego
Help create and maintain organic, edible gardens for homes, schools and communities. This is a "hands-in-the-dirt" project, though there are also administrative openings.
Contact: Bob Greenamyer:
Click here to go to the VGSD website.
Food for Thought Film Series
Help organize, promote, and present free films about food issues. Or do you have a location to show a film followed by a discussion about local food?
Click here to go to the Food For Thought webpage
We are seeking dedicated community members with skills to contribute to these tasks:
Grant writing and research
Media and public relations
Accounting (CPA Preferred)
To be involved, pease contact us.
Do you have an idea for a new project?
Are you able to organize and implement it?
Please contact us and ask for a Project Proposal Questionnaire. We'll get back to you and let you know the next steps. Because SD Roots is an all-volunteer organization, please allow for plenty of lead time before you wish to begin.
Other things you can do to help the local food movement
Shop at Farmer’s Markets. Talk to the people you are buying from. Find out how it is grown and who grows it. Is it grown in San Diego County?
For a list of Farmer’s Markets and organic food grocery in the San Diego area, click here.
Ask your favorite restaurant, grocery store and child’s school to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Donate to support our programs!
Your tax-deductible contribution to Roots supports our projects and aids us in our outreach and education efforts.
To make a tax-deductible donation with a credit card and PayPal, please click here.
If you'd like to make a tax-deductible donation using a check, please send it to:
San Diego Roots
PO Box 33285
San Diego, California 92163-3285