Shalom Farms Volunteer Day

Shalom Farms Volunteer Day 2022!


On Tuesday October 4th The Strum Group went to the Shalom Farms Northside location to help harvest the last of this season’s tomatoes! Shalom Farms is a non-profit “working together to build healthy communities by growing and sharing healthy food”. They focus on distributing their produce through community programs to allow better access in areas considered food deserts.

Shalom Farms


We started the day with a tour of their Northside Farm and got to learn about how they take care of their fields and soil during the off season. We also got a chance to walk through their green and hoop houses to see some of the produce that require higher temperatures and humidity. 

After the tour we got started on our patch of tomatoes! First we went through the rows and picked the ripe tomatoes with few spots, holes and blemishes and sorted those into bins. Once all the ripe tomatoes were picked, we went back through the rows and picked the green tomatoes and put those in separate bins to ripen over time. Lastly, we picked up any rotting tomatoes and put them in their compost piles to make rich soil for next season

Picking tomatoes was super fun, but I think everyone’s favorite task was ripping the dried tomato plants out of the ground along with the stakes that held them upright. Some agents were on wheelbarrow duties, moving the dead plants from the field to the compost pile, while some agents worked on pulling the stakes up, sorting them and moving them to the back field to be used next season. 

Overall everyone had a blast getting their hands dirty and contributing to an organization with such an amazing cause. Dave’s favorite part of the day was “breaking everything down. We all had our own jobs and worked as a team to efficiently get the work done. Even though most agents work independently, our ability to work as a team makes us different”. Drew said the work “makes you appreciate all the work farmers do to make food magically appear in grocery stores”. One of Shalom Farms biggest goals is to educate the greater Richmond community about agriculture, healthy eating and just how much work goes into making healthy and affordable meals possible, especially for lower income families. 

To learn more about Shalom Farms, who they are, what they do and how you can get involved, check out their website. If you want to see more footage of The Strum Group’s volunteer day check out our Facebook album!

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