Volunteer FAQs

“Come one, come all, volunteer at Fairgate Community Farm in Stamford, CT. Turn the soil, pull the weeds, plant the seeds, and watch them grow. Feel a sense of togetherness, as you watch the veggies and fruits bloom, then feast upon the labor of your hands and become healthier as the days go by, from eating organically grown plants, nourished by your own hands. Thank you Fairgate Farm for giving me free organically grown foods for healthy living.”

– Agnes Roberts

Agnes Reading a poem about volunteering at Fairgate Farm

What is it Like to Volunteer at Fairgate Farm?
Farm Manager Pete Novajosky has answers to some frequently asked questions. 

How do I sign up to volunteer?
Easy! Please join us by completing our volunteer form.

Sometimes we get pretty busy at the Farm, if you don’t hear back from us feel free to reach out to Farmer Pete at pnovajosky@charteroakcommunities.org or call/text him at 203-940-2305 to schedule your visit.

What is it like to volunteer at Fairgate Farm?
We try to make the experience as rich and rewarding as we can. What people do depends on what the Farm needs. Early in the season we are preparing the fields, amending the soil, and planting. During the season we are weeding, cultivating, watering and harvesting crops and preparing them for our market and donations. We’re also composting, repairing raised beds, having special events, making signs … there is always a lot to do!

Farm Manager Pete

Farm Manager Peter Novajosky

Who are your volunteers?
People of all ages and backgrounds volunteer at Fairgate Farm, from toddlers to seniors.  Our volunteers come on their own as individuals or may come as groups of friends or co-workers. We have corporate teams, community service groups and people from organizations like Future 5 and the Boys & Girls Club. We welcome anyone and everyone who wishes to volunteer at the Farm!

What is the time commitment involved in volunteering at Fairgate Farm?
There is no minimum time requirement.  You can come for an hour or many hours, once or twice a season or every week. We have some one-time volunteers but, honestly, the more valuable and rewarding experiences are once you’ve gotten to know the Farm. Whether you come several days a week or several days a month, committing to regular volunteering will give you the most knowledge, best experience, and greatest impact in the community.

How long do volunteers stay each time?
Depends, though between 1 and 3 hours is typically the “sweet spot”.

Do all volunteers do the same tasks?
Tasks are very dependent on the day and time of the season, and also on the individual.  We do our best to cater tasks based on ability and skill, experience, interest, and necessity.

Do you ever need volunteers for special events?
Definitely. We always have lots of things going on in season, from our festivals to our classes and everything in between.  We need people to help with setup and breakdown, children’s activities, helping host workshops and more. We are always looking for volunteers with musical or artistic talents, yoga skills, or local chefs or nutritionists who are willing to share their talents with our community. Please reach out to us at fairgatefarm@gmail.com to use your talents to make a positive change!

Can children volunteer at Fairgate?
Kids are welcome to come along at any age to experience the farm!  We ask anyone under middle school age to be accompanied by an adult.

Is there an instructional session or orientation for volunteers?
We don’t host a formal orientation session, however, we will happily show you around the farm on your first visit to learn more about who we are, what we do, and give you a better lay of the land.

What should I bring or wear?
Wear what’s comfortable for you, though be prepared to get dirty.  Closed-toed are recommended to protect your feet and a hat and/or sunscreen may be a good idea as well (the Farm is rather sunny!). Feel free to bring your own gloves and tools if you prefer, though we have a stash of gloves and tools you are more than welcome to use, as well.  Please also bring your own refillable water.

What do volunteers take home?
The answer depends on what’s in season. In the spring and early summer, the harvest is small yet but we do our best to offer what we can. Throughout the summer and fall there is plenty of herbs, fruits, and veggies to go around!

What are the benefits of volunteering at Fairgate Farm?
There are so many! An obvious one is that our volunteers share in our harvest, taking home fresh-picked fruits and vegetables during the season. Since its inception, we’ve also donated lots of fresh produce to Stamford’s hunger relief charities like food banks and community kitchens. Our volunteers learn about farming, get lots of exercise, enjoy the companionship of other volunteers and go home, usually tired and happy, knowing they’ve made an important contribution to our community.

What skills do volunteers need?
We’ll teach you everything you need to know. 

If we haven’t answered all your questions here, feel free to reach out to Farmer Pete:
pnovajosky@charteroakcommunities.org or call/text 203-940-2305.