There is no shortage of inspiring organizations helping protect farmland and support farmers in this world. Many rely on private support and volunteers for day-to-day work as well as fundraising and awareness events. Following are a few organizations doing great work and offering opportunities to learn and help the community while ensuring real honest food makes its way to the table.
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms in the USA (WWOOF-USA) is part of a worldwide effort to link visitors with organic farmers, promote an educational exchange, and build a global community conscious of ecological farming practices. I know several people who have participate in WWOOF home and abroad, most recently a colleague who is currently in New Zealand having the time of her life. Check out opportunities for your next do-good adventure at wwoofusa.org.
Maine Farmland Trust (MFT) is a non-profit organization working to permanently preserve and protect the agricultural lands in Maine. Since its founding in 1999, MFT has participated in over 146 land transactions that have preserved more than 27,000 acres of farmland. In addition to supporting farmers they support artists. They could use some volunteer support at their office in Belfast – for an hour or two every week assist MFT staff with office tasks such as taking care of the mail, answering phones, maintenance, and anything else that’s got to get done. Sounds like a terrific opportunity to meet some great people and learn about the workings of the organization from the inside out. Visit mainefarmlandtrust.org for more information.
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) could use volunteers at this year’s Common Ground Country Fair. I know so many people who’ve done this and had a blast. I donated my time last year giving a talk on backyard chickens and am doing it again this year. Next year, who knows, I might try to volunteer in the Community Kitchen. OK, volunteering at the fair – there are two ways – as an individual or a group. Check out all the ins and outs at mofga.org/thefair/volunteers
Want to get creative? Host a dinner and pass the mason jar around for donations for your favorite charity or talk to your organization/friends/school/church group … about organizing a fundraiser. Big or small it all helps!