Monday, December 12, 2011

Volunteers Needed during Winter Workshops

One of the most common questions New Roots farmers and staff get asked this time of year is “what do you do all winter?"

After finishing fall clean-up, November offers a short period of rest before the "winter work" really begins. Along with infrastructure updates at the farm we take time to focus on strengthening the program as a whole. This involves a great deal of reflection and planning from everyone involved in the farm.

Last week was dominated by the season’s evaluations, where staff met one-on-one with each farmer to reflect on the season. We celebrate successes, constructively acknowledge struggles, and plan for future seasons. While they can be a bit overwhelming at times, these meetings have re-energized each one of us, and I have left every single one astonished (once again) by the farmers. They are such smart women, and have fantastic plans for their businesses and the future of their families!

After evaluations it is time for the first English class of the winter. All New Roots farmers are required to enroll in, and attend, formal English as a Second Language (ESL) courses during the winter months – five days a week! To supplement this learning, we also require our farmers to attend agriculture/small business focused English classes taught by Catholic Charities staff. It is in this weekly class that farmers learn language relevant to farming, financial literacy, and marketing.

In addition to our English classes, we also require all farmers to attend regularly scheduled agricultural workshops. Since most of our farmers have a couple little children, we provide free on-site childcare during all of the classes and workshops we teach.

We are looking for volunteers to help with childcare during the following times:

Mondays from 1-3pm
December 12 through Monday March 19th
(no class 12/26)

Wednesday from 9:30-11:30 am
January 4th through May 9th

All classes and workshops are taught at the farm office, in Northeast KCK. While it would be fantastic to have regular help, we understand that life can be busy. If you are interested in helping, but can’t commit to the entire series, we would still love to have you!

Please contact Emily at elecuyer (at) CatholicCharitiesKS (dot) org or at 913.620.2080 if you are interested in helping, or have additional questions.

Thank you and stay warm!!

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