Volunteer Opportunities at the Farm

Five CWRU student volunteers working in the fields

Attention CWRU faculty, staff, and students!

Do you love eating fresh, local food and wish our campus dining halls served more of it? Come out to the University Farm and help us garden and harvest vegetables, herbs, and greens throughout the growing season.

Before you join our force, let us answer some questions you may have...

When can I volunteer?

The CWRU Farm welcomes volunteers Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. beginning late March through November.

How many hours do I need to commit?

Come once or once per week! The CWRU Farm has no hourly requirement, but we do request that each volunteer visit be a minimum of 2 hours, please.

How do I get there? Do I need a car?

The CWRU Farm is located about 30 minutes east of main campus at 37125 Fairmount Blvd. in beautiful Hunting Valley, OH. Personal transportation allows for more flexibility, but campus groups of 8 or more people can also arrange to come out on the CWRU Farm's Shuttle Bus. Contact Farm office, at 216.368.0274 to check the shuttle bus schedule.

What will I be doing?

As a volunteer, you'll be out-standing in your field as soon as you arrive. Tasks you'll assist with include but are not limited to:

  • planting seeds in our Debra Ann November Research Greenhouse and in our fields
  • helping to maintain greenhouse order and cleanliness
  • planting crops
  • harvesting crops
  • cleaning and packing produce to send to campus and the greater Cleveland community
  • working with compost
  • laying irrigation systems in fields
  • weeding
  • building essential structures for garden protection (deer fences, digging for post holes, etc.)
  • working on grape arbor restoration at Valley Ridge Farm
  • volunteering for the Farm Harvest Festival

Who do I contact to volunteer?

To join our force, email us at farm@case.edu to express interest in volunteering. Please provide your availability to volunteer and the date you would be able to start. Also include any questions, comments, or concerns you may have.

Why should I choose the CWRU Farm as my volunteer site?

Fresh air. Playing in the dirt. Harvesting and washing produce. Need we say more?
Not only are we fun, casual, and outdoors, but we also will teach the basics of growing food and hopefully provide insight on the importance of sourcing food that is locally- and organically-grown.

Warning: Volunteering at the Farm may be highly addictive. Many of our volunteers become student employees and then permanent staff members.

Other FAQs:

I've never stepped foot in a garden - can I still help?

YES! No experience is required - our staff will provide all materials and training you need to be a successful volunteer. As long as you're okay with being outside and aren't afraid to get a little dirty, you'll fit right in.

Can I bring someone?

Of course! Come individually, bring a friend, or sign up your entire department, team, student activities group, or Greek chapter. Please note: Every volunteer MUST be at least 18 years of age. 

Is it common for students to volunteer at the Farm?

In 2011, nearly 300 volunteers donated more than 1,000 hours of their time. This was 25% of the total labor required for the 2011 growing season. In 2012 the number of volunteer hours increase to over 1,600. Years later, volunteers still compile a solid task force at the farm, providing up to one-seventh of the total labor.

We appreciate your support of the Farm Food Program! We look forward to seeing you at our farm events.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Ryan Bennett, Farm Food Program Coordinator rxb552@case.edu; or call the farm office at 216.368.0274.

"Volunteering at the University Farm helped take our organization to a new level. Spending time giving back to the university we love strengthened the bonds between our members. We left with a greater sense of unity as an organization and purpose as members of the Case community."

—Mara Gallagher, CWRU Residence Hall Association