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Wanna Volunteer at FRESHFARM Market?

Anna Blume

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As the new Volunteer Coordinator, Joanna Winchester just sent out an announcement for:

FRESHFARM Market Orientation Meeting for Volunteers

Thursday, March 22, 7:00-8:30 pm

2000 S Street NW


Some highlights will include:

· A slideshow introduction to our organization for potential or new volunteers (some great photos of our markets and farmers!)

· Building an understanding of our shared mission and the role volunteers play in helping us achieve our goals, as well as a discussion of what it means to be a volunteer with us

· An opportunity to sign up for specific volunteer roles, from market volunteers to assisting with shaping our volunteer program (and more!)

· A hands-on activity (either making T-shirts for market volunteers or writing a letter-to-the-editor advising the public of our markets' opening dates)

· Yummy treats!

Join us this Thursday: email me at freshfarmvolunteers@gmail.com

I've been volunteering at Dupont Circle for over a year now, although, quite frankly, on a much more regular basis when the growing season is well underway and I can pick up most of my groceries there.

I started simply because I'm a fan and thrilled to have such a resource in town. Mostly, I stand up front and answer questions or chop vegetables, seek centerpieces and hand out whatever is being prepared at chef demos. Every half hour you walk around with a silver clicker, counting heads and making sure Waitman isn't squeezing fruit, and periodically, sympathetically nod and listen when dog owners are distressed to learn their pets are no longer welcome and you won't look after them yourself if they try to fasten the leash to the bank's gate. Other times, I've volunteered to shut down the market which is a great job for late risers since there is little more to it than removing signage and making sure traffic doesn't travel prematurely south down the one street that is blocked off until closing time.

It's a way to get to know some of the farmers and to check out what's available on the Local Food scene. (I ended up filling in for a vacationing regular for a month at one of the farms as a result: fun except for the 5:15 am alarm.) Quite a few of the farmers give discounts to regular volunteers. In the middle of tomato season, this benefit is a real boon.

Many shoppers come to the market and see things they've never cooked before, so having someone up front like you, Dear Reader, proves helpful. You can show off what you know about braising chard, what goes with softshell crab, whose stand has really good apples... There are probably dozens of different things that you might consider doing behind the scenes as well.

Disclaimer: I am an advocate of all the farmers markets in the area, not just the one that happens to be closest and most convenient for me. Please note that in addition to the other markets in Mt. Pleasant, nearby MD and VA, Freshfarm has a number of markets at different locations that run throughout the week. These will reopen shortly.

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