The DeLaney Community Farm in Aurora, CO is the result of a partnership between Denver Urban Gardens and Project Worthmore. DeLaney’s mission is to support refugees through sustainable agriculture and community building. The farm provides refugees with training and community integration while providing freshly grown food for the broader community. Project Helping volunteers lend their time at the farm to help out with whatever needs to be done. This volunteer event is a favorite in the summer—but don’t forget to bring sunscreen!
My volunteer experience at DeLaney Community Farm began with getting very, very lost. It is a surprisingly hard place to find, despite the contrast between the green fields and urban setting around it. Once I found the place, I met up with the other volunteers to get gardening gloves. Then, the volunteers and the refugees working at the farm all gathered up for morning stretches. These stretches were a great way to start the day! Everyone took a turn leading a stretch while counting up to ten.
Once we were ready to begin work, the volunteers started by clearing the hay away from the rows of sprouting plants. DeLaney uses hay to protect the soil and prevent weeds from popping up. Since it had rained the day before, some of the hay had gotten pushed on top of the plants. We had to make sure that the plants could breathe by pushing it away. Then we moved on to the next row over where we planted dill and sunflowers in the empty rows. I quickly learned that there was no point in trying to remain dirt-free; the only way was to embrace the dirt.
While I dug holes about a food apart and filled them with cute and tiny dill plants, I got to chat with the other volunteers. One volunteer helped out at DeLaney every week because he enjoyed farming so much. Another volunteer was in between jobs and wanted to get out in the sun while giving back to her community. One of my favorite parts about volunteering is meeting interesting, like-minded people at the events. Planting provided us the perfect opportunity to chat and share our stories.
We finished the day by plowing three more rows with the hand plow and filling those rows will all different plants. By the time we were finished, we were all covered in dirt and wearing big smiles. I loved the opportunity to spend my morning outside before going into the office for the rest of the day. Volunteering at DeLaney was the perfect start to my day with plenty of sun, great conversation, and the chance to make an impact.
Want to be a farmer for a day? Click here to sign up for an amazing volunteer experience. To learn more about other volunteer opportunities, check out our post about volunteering at Treasure House of Hope and Denver Rescue Mission.