Open Community Volunteering
Volunteering is back! We are resuming community volunteer days on Mondays and Saturdays from 9:30AM to 12:30PM, with a limit of ten people. People safety is as important to us as food safety, so please do not come if you have been sick, please wear a mask, and observe appropriate social distancing. We are doing our best to keep our farmers and our community safe, so please respect necessary precautions.
RSVP to reserve a spot, or just show up by 9:30 AM
Often the best way to learn is by doing. Get a taste of the myriad of things a farmer does while preparing and growing San Diego seasonal plantings of vegetables, greens, medicinal and culinary herbs and cover crops. No experience is necessary, reservations are not required (but recommended), and families are welcome. Please arrive before 9:30AM for check-in. If you have reserved a spot, you must be here by 9:45AM or you could lose your spot. Rain or special event may cancel, so please check our social media ahead of time.
9:30: Volunteer Arrival and Check-in
9:45: New Volunteer Orientation
10:00 - 12:30: Volunteering for New and Returning Volunteers
Participate in the Wild Willow Farm Food System!
We've got gloves, tools and tasks! Please come prepared for sunshine, cold, heat and working in the dirt. We have bugs, all kinds of wild plants, animals, and more, so please bring any medications you need for allergies.
Appropriate Attire: Closed-toe shoes (no sandals), long pants and sleeves, sun hat, and a mask.
Bring: Sunscreen, refillable water bottle, snacks. Please pack out your trash and recyclables. We welcome people of all ages and abilities, but please leave your pets at home.
Group Size: Open Volunteering is for individuals, families or friends in groups of five or fewer. If you will be a large group that would like to volunteer, consider purchasing a Group Activity so we can be sure to have extra staff on hand to help facilitate.
Waiver: You will be required to sign in on our tablet or smart phone at the volunteer check-in station and accept the waiver before being able to assist us for the day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What kind of tasks will I be given?
It depends on your level of experience, abilities, and the needs of the farm that week. Tasks might include: mucking animal pens, weeding, bed building, planting, develop areas for our classes and field trips, mulching, putting up structures, compositing, and more!
Q: Do I need farm or gardening experience?
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.
Q: Can I bring kids with me?
Yes, we love it when families introduce agriculture and teach the younger generation the importance of nurturing the Earth and other organisms around us! We'll do our best to find appropriate activities for your family, which may mean there are certain activities we won't permit due to the sensitivity of crops or challenges that may be dangerous for children.
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. Please no unaccompanied children unless by prior arrangement, such as for school service hours.
Your family is welcome to just enjoy the nature, sounds, scents, and sights of our farm if you feel your kids are too young to make volunteering a meaningful experience. Walk around, observe the things that are happening on the farm, meet our animals, take a nature walk on the trail adjacent to our farm, and bring a picnic!
Q: Do you sign off community service hours?
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 need not stay). Please let us know at check-in if you need us to sign-off on your required paperwork.
If you are looking for easy ways to fulfill your community service requirements, this is not it!We will only sign off on your paperwork if you actually work. Be ready to fully participate and be engaged because your work here matters!
Q: Do you sign off on court-ordered community service hours?
At this time, we do not allow court-ordered community service hours for adults, only for those 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 our volunteer coordinator 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.
Q: What if it rains?
Even though it only rains 10" a year on average in San Diego, when it does rain, it can get uncomfortably muddy on the farm. If it's been raining heavily at the farm over several days or there is prediction of significant amounts of rain for an upcoming Saturday, more than likely our volunteering day will be canceled. Please check our Facebook page or calendar to verify the Saturday you plan on coming in hasn't been canceled due to weather or a special event.