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Hands for Harvest

26 Oct

I’m a wanna-be gardener.  The few times I have made attempts I either get one plant that overtakes the garden or I can’t tell the weeds from the real plants until it is too late.  I do enjoy the fall when boxes of cucumbers, tomatoes and squash appear in break rooms at work.  I take a few while appreciating the work others went through to achieve the harvest and then thinking…maybe I will try a garden next spring.

Maybe next spring, instead of making a wasted attempt at a garden of my own, I will help out Hands for Harvest.  This organization builds community and provides fresh produce for local food shelves by growing, cultivating, and harvesting crops on a volunteer farm.  In 2010, the farm was located in Green Isle, MN (just a bit west of the Twin Cities metro area). 

Hands for Harvest began as the senior year internship project for Travis Dahlke and turned into a non-profit organization.  Individuals and groups, from ages 3 to age 75, have volunteered with them.  They began in 2009 and harvested over 12,000 pounds of potatoes on just one acre of donated land.  This was accomplished with a minimal budget and over 200 volunteers. 

In October 2010, co-founders Travis Dahlke and Nathan Dahlke received the Service Award from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN for their work with Hands for Harvest.

How can you help?

  • In the spring, you may contribute seed potatoes or contact them for other needed donations.
  • They also depend on volunteers to plant in the spring and harvest and box up produce in the fall.  Co-founder Travis Dahlke says, “The donation of your time is the most valuable resource you can contribute!  Please consider volunteering with us today!!” 
  • Hands for Harvest is looking for opportunities to grow crops in and around the Twin Cities metro area.  If you have an open lot from a ¼ acre to an acre in size that you would be willing to donate, please let them know!

You can learn more on their website, HandsForHarvestMN.org, via e-mail at handsforharvest@gmail.com, or by phone at 952-594-0820.  You can also follow them on Facebook.

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Posted by on October 26, 2010 in Nonprofit Organization

 

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