This week, we had the opportunity to host our first group of volunteers through an ongoing partnership with Amizade. The volunteers came from Ohio and were all members of the same church congregation.

Amizade is an international service-learning organization stationed in Pittsburgh.  They have sites through the United States and parts of South America, where volunteers are scheduled for regular visits.

Volunteers help move netting

Volunteers help move netting

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This is the first year that Amizade has had a site in Central Appalachia, and we are excited to be a part of their trial!! So far we have three groups coming this summer, with the largest group of 70 set to come next week.

This week, the group of about 12 students aged 15-18 worked primarily at the community gardens, and some at the Mingo county orchard. We are in the process of completing different elements of our site-plan at the gardens, utilizing the labor or these capable, young and energetic students.

The students completed a number of tasks including decommissioning our old compost bins to get ready for the new compost bins (which will be installed in two weeks) and they helped get us up to speed with weeding and mulching. They also detangled a ton of old netting and helped us spread it along blueberry bushes!

We really appreciated all their help and are looking forward to see what the next group will achieve!!