We have big news to share with you! Nuestro Huerto has acquired more land! We are partnering with the City of Worcester to re-purpose over a half an acre at the South Worcester Playground-where the old pool was located. It’s nestled between a row of triple deckers, the South Worcester Neighborhood Center, a big graveyard and our ever-present neighbor, the railroad tracks. I know we will feel right at home. This weekend we will be taking 10 soil samples across the site to ensure the soil’s safety. Soil safety is our absolute top priority. We have already taken two preliminary samples which came back lead-safe; but it was recommend to us to take further samples all over the property, as well as send these samples in for additional heavy metal testing. We know very little about this site so far. We do know that it was once the location of a civil war encampment, and later, of course, the pool. But we’re not sure what was going on in between those times-so soil testing is a good way to get familiar with what we’re working with. Mostly, since the pool was filled in, the surface soil is fill brought in from off-site which should be good to go. I’ve contacted the Worcester Historical Museum and they are going to look into it for us. More to come! So, we’ve got a lot on our plate, and naturally, developing any site takes time, especially when it involves coordination with many partners, and later, lots of elbow-grease! Once we get the soil tests back, we will work with the City on getting water to the site (shouldn’t be too crazy since it was a pool, after all), and developing a high tunnel (unheated greenhouse/hoop house) to house a winter greens project that we are developing in collaboration with Clark University. This is going to be a great opportunity for entrepreneurship in Worcester to meet community involvement. The board is excited about this project and sees it as a great start to working with residents. We aren’t planning on going anywhere-we love it here!
Right now, at the South Worcester Neighborhood Center located on this same property, Hannah Converse, our Education Coordinator and board member, developed and is currently running a six week gardening program in conjunction with the center’s free summer program and UMASS Nutrition Education Program. The kids are preparing food, planting seeds, taking care of a container garden and exploring their personal relationship with the foods they eat. Pictures to come!
Next up, we need your help! Volunteers are ALWAYS welcome on the farm while we’re open. We’ve shortened hours because we don’t have someone familiar enough with the farm to lead workdays on Thursdays. We are open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays. What Nuestro Huerto needs are field interns who are committed to working as volunteers on the farm to learn new skills, hone old ones, meet new people, and keep the farm functioning as it’s optimum. It’s high summer, and nearly time for fall planting, so there’s lots to do besides harvesting on Wednesdays. All members are welcome to do additional hours, and walk-in’s with no experience will be guided to help out. Below is our internship posting, so please forward on. We are developing a full grant writing internship as well that will work with our board to help the farm develop new and maintain existing programs and that posting will be published ASAP.
Urban Farming Field Internship:
Nuestro Huerto is accepting applications for urban farming field interns. Interns will work on an active volunteer-run urban farm in Worcester, MA.
Activities will include: Harvesting, processing, weeding, maintenance
Internships are unpaid, though produce will be made available for interns and credit may be possible for students. Positions open immediately.
Interns are expected to be professional, including being on time, prepared to work in the sun and rain, enthusiastic about learning new skills, working with others and able to take initiative to solve problems and help out where needed. Schedule can be flexible.
Send resume or work experience and letter of interest tell us about you and why you would like to be involved in Nuestro Huerto. firstname.lastname@example.org