The purpose of the volunteer program at Welland is to both increase food access by maintaining a productive Orchard using organic, holistic orcharding practices, and increase food literacy by educating volunteers on fruit tree care, harvest and use. We hope to make this process fun and engaging, and to this end have a few ways that volunteers can get involved in depending on what they’re looking for and what their time commitment is.

Ways to get involved:

Drop-in work parties!

These are a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the Orchard, meet new people, and learn a bit about fruit trees, pollinators or soil building. There’s a low commitment level, you can just come when you have a free Sunday. Tasks vary with the season, but generally work parties are family friendly times to come and pitch in on things like mulching, weeding, fruit thinning, or harvest; each time is a little bit different.

Volunteer work parties are every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month from March to October (except holiday weekends). In the spring & fall we meet in the afternoon to take advantage of warmer afternoons, and in the summer we meet in the morning before it gets too hot to work! Dates and times for 2017 are as follows:

Sundays, March 5th & 19th, April 2nd & 23rd, May 7th & 21st from 1 pm to 4 pm

Sundays, June 4th & 18th, July 16th, August 20th from 10 am to 1 pm

Sundays, September 17th, October 1st & 15th, November 5th & 19th from 1 pm to 4 pm

To stay up-to-date with times & activities for the drop-in work parties, sign up for our email list by sending a message to our Coordinator at welland@lifecyclesproject.ca, and/or ‘like’ our Facebook page and keep an eye out for upcoming events.

Tree Care Apprentices!

This program is for folks who really want to zero in on learning about specific aspects of fruit tree care, such as nutrition, pest & disease management and pruning. These volunteers will be mixing and applying holistic sprays, pruning trees and monitoring diseases & pests according to the season. They will be working closely with the Coordinator to implement the holistic tree care plan for the Orchard, which is based on the book The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits & Berries the Biological Way by Michael Phillips (book not provided).

Apprentices meet 1-2 times per month on a set day during the week (to be determined, based on applicants schedules), and are required to commit for at least a three month period from February to October. There is a simple application here. We will accept applications on a rolling basis. For more questions about this volunteer opportunity please email the Coordinator at welland@lifecyclesproject.ca