A community of volunteers gives Elk Run Farm a new look

Elk Run Farm, a former golf course turned farm in Maple Valley, supplies South King County Food Coalition’s twelve food banks with local produce. The farmtool shed is in the midst of a summer full of growing and harvesting healthy produce thanks to three brand new buildings constructed by AmeriCorps National Civilian Conservation Corps (NCCC) volunteers. The AmeriCorps NCCC team has been a key partner in tackling big projects on the farm. Last year’s team built a tool shed to store and protect the farm’s equipment from the elements. This past spring the farm hosted a second group of AmeriCorps NCCC volunteers. Rotary First Harvest and Harvest Against Hunger, partners of Elk Run Farm, partnered with AmeriCorps NCCC to bring the volunteers to three Western Washington food bank farms including Elk Run.

New greenhouse and packing station increases produce supply for food banks

This group of 10 NCCC volunteers picked up where last year’s team left off. The group spent two weeks building multiple new structures on the farm to help Elk Run increase their produce supply for food banks.

The NCCC volunteers built a large green house that will nurture plant starts from seed, allow the farm to continue to grow produce during the cold, rainy winter months, and serve as an indoor classroom space;

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An office for all of those behind the scenes tasks needed to run the farm;

office

A produce washing and packing station to speed up produce delivery to food banks and to serve as a work space;

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They even used their artistic talents to make sure visitors and volunteers could easily find their way to the farm.

volunteers with signs

The NCCC volunteers also spent time clearing an entire hill of overgrown blackberries to make space for other fruits and vegetables, prepared the fields for spring, and planted seeds and plant starts in the vegetable field. In addition to all of those really important, labor intensive tasks, the NCCC volunteers got to know and work with Elk Run Farm’s community of other volunteers, partners and staff. Elk Run Farm Coordinator, Maggie Rickman shares how the work of the NCCC volunteers impacts more than just the farm, but the community as a whole,

“Our volunteers are creating the kind of community they want to live in through their amazing acts of service.”

This year’s group of amazing NCCC volunteers has Elk Run Farm feeling thankful and excited to meet next spring’s crew!

In addition to Elk Run’s remarkable NCCC volunteers, the Farm is supported by staff, partners, the community of Maple Valley and King County. King County Executive Dow Constantine visited Elk Run Farm earlier this week to thank the farm’s staff, volunteers and partners for all of their hard work on behalf of King County families. The farm provides fresh and local produce to 12 food banks in South King County and has created a place where local community members and visitors alike can gather and work towards a common goal of making sure their neighbors have enough healthy food to eat.

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You can volunteer too

Elk Run Farm, in Maple Valley, WA, has regular summer volunteer hours. You can join in and help out on the farm on Wednesdays from 4 to 7pm, Fridays from 9am to 12pm, and on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm. Volunteer hours change seasonally so check Elk Run’s Facebook page or contact elkrunfarmvista@gmail.com for any updates to their volunteer hours.

Fresh picked from the farm

So far this season over 200 pounds of peas, collards, kale, radishes, green onions, leeks, cilantro, parsley, and lettuce, among other produce grown on the farm have been delivered to South King County food banks, providing South King County families with healthy, fresh, and local produce. To see what Elk Run Farm is harvesting next, follow the farm on Instagram.

veggies

Originally posted on August 3, 2017

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