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Programs

Volunteering FAQ

  • Why should I volunteer at the farm?

    Volunteering is a chance to learn while getting involved all across the farm, to pitch in with the daily activities and help meet the various goals day to day. The activities change week to week and season to season to reflect where help is needed most. During the growing season, volunteer tasks focus on the fields and outdoor spaces, while winter hosts more indoor tasks.

  • How can I be prepared to volunteer?

    All tools and materials for an activity will be provided (gloves, shovels, pruners), though feel free to bring your gear from home.
    -Bring a refillable water bottle
    -Wear sunscreen &/or a hat, even on cloudy days
    -Use bug spray or wear protective clothing, including rain gear or a change of clothes
    -Wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes, and comfortable clothes you don't mind getting dirty

  • Is there any paperwork required?

    Yes: before you lift a finger to volunteer, the volunteer waiver form must be completed every calendar year (ie, even if you submitted them in December, a new set will be required as of January). You will receive these forms via email after you submit a volunteer application. There are also hard copies of these forms available in the Volunteer Office.

  • How old do I need to be to volunteer?

    In general, individuals aged 15y/o and older are welcome to participate as a volunteer. Younger volunteers will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. However, our Community Work Days have no age limit.

  • What is a Community Work Day?

    One Saturday a month, we welcome the community to participate in a bigger farm task that goes quickly with many helping hands. All ages are welcome, and it's a great group activity for a family, scout troop, or friends.

  • What can I expect when volunteering?

    Be prepared to get involved all across the farm!
    Each activity will begin by meeting at the Volunteer Office, where you must Sign In and Out for each visit. Spare + clean reusable water bottles, sunscreen, bug spray, and other tools will be available here. Your belongings can be left here as well. We will go over the activity we're doing and why, and how it is benefitting the farm, and are happy to answer any questions the best we can as we work. When our time is up, we will make our way back to the Volunteer Office and you will be able to wash up if needed.

  • Why should I sign up for a volunteer activity on the calendar?

    We are best prepared to have you involved when we have a sense how many volunteers are joining an activity. Some activities also have a limit, so signing up ensures your spot! Also, when you sign up you will automatically receive a reminder email with details on how to be prepared for the day, and any last minute changes.

  • What if I want to volunteer on a different day than what's listed on the calendar?

    If you are looking to be involved on a different day or time, there is some flexibility: volunteer visits are possible most weekdays during the farm's open hours, 9am-4pm. All cases must be approved in advance by the Volunteer Coordinator. At the moment, we are unable to accommodate volunteer visits on the weekend or evenings outside of the listed volunteer shifts.

  • What if I arrive late?

    If we know to expect latecomers, directions for where to meet to join the activity will be written on the whiteboard in the volunteer office. Just don't forget to Sign In when you do arrive!

  • What if I can't volunteer for the full timeslot?

    No problem! Please let us know in advance if you need to leave the activity early or will be joining late, so that we can prepare accordingly.

  • What if it's raining or snowing?

    Outdoor volunteer tasks take place rain or shine all year long, so come prepared and dress accordingly! The only time activities will be cancelled are due to thunder or lightning conditions, and severe cold temperatures. We encourage you to wear layers: even on a cold day tasks in the High Tunnel structure can feel very warm, and even on a warm day the hilltop's wind tunnel may cause a chill while in the fields.

  • How can I be prepared on a very hot or humid day?

    A volunteer's safety is our #1 priority. During the warmer months, volunteer activities tend to start earlier in the day in order to beat the midday heat, especially for harvest activities which require cooler conditions to properly harvest vegetables. Some late evening hours may be offered on occasion as well. Keep in mind that the growing fields have no shade, so please come prepared with sunscreen and water bottles, wear hats and light clothing (natural materials keep you cooler). Breaks are encouraged to refill your water, reapply sunscreen, and take some time in the shade.

  • Can I volunteer with my coworkers?

    Yes! Corporate group visits have a more robust experience on the farm, and offer the chance for workers to bond outside the office while promoting corporate citizenship. First, check out the Corporate Volunteer page to learn about the different tiers and experiences offered. Then, send an email to volunteers@hilltophanoverfarm.org with your group's details and dates you'd prefer.

  • Can I volunteer with my troop or organization?

    Fill out the Volunteer Application and check "Yes" as a group representative. Be sure to include any details about your areas of interest and dates you'd prefer.

  • Where is the Volunteer Office?

    It is directly across from the Farm Stand, next to the southern silo in the dairy barn building. Look for the double sliding doors!

  • How can I learn more about volunteering at the farm?

    Subscribe to our Volunteer Update emails: weekly emails will focus on the upcoming week's volunteer activities, and the monthly Volunteer Newsletter recaps all the great work volunteers accomplished.

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center
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