Nasami Farm has many opportunities for volunteers to learn about native plants, have hands-on experiences with the plants in the greenhouses, and enjoy the friendly atmosphere with fellow plant-enthusiasts.
For Nasami Farm volunteers, it's all about the plants!
By Marnie Smith, a dedicated volunteer, plant enthusiast, and friend who hails from Vermont.
Maybe the wind is blowing across the open fields at Nasami Farm in Whately,
and there is a bite in the air. Or a cool rain has come up and the skies are gray. Never mind - everyone knows that once inside the greenhouse with your hands in the dirt, the weather doesn't matter. That is why on any given morning in spring, summer and fall, no matter the weather, you can find a group of people of all ages and backgrounds gathered in the greenhouse talking, laughing and working with native plants. One thing I noticed when I started volunteering at Nasami Farm—it’s all about the plants. It takes a whole year (often longer) of collecting, planting, growing, organizing and planning to produce the beautiful collection of native New England plants on sale from April to October at the Farm. As a volunteer if you are not working directly with plants, you are more than likely preparing for their celebrated arrival in some way or another.
On volunteer workdays as folks wander into the main building, the atmosphere is friendly and warm. People greet each other and maybe gather up gloves and tools for the work ahead but there is really very little down time. Before too long there is a momentum towards the greenhouses that cannot be stopped, and questions are popping up like, how are the seedlings we transplanted last week doing? Or Kate, the Propagator at Nasami Farm, will remind us to check out a certain plant that has just come into bloom in the greenhouse. Or, someone is talking about a flower show or native plant workshop they have recently attended. This is a group you can talk plants with, or garden tool
s, or your personal recipe for compost tea with no worry about how you will sound. Nasami volunteers come from Vermont, Connecticut, and just down the road. We all have one thing in common and that is a love for and excitement about the mission of New England Wild Flower Society. Nasami Farm's goal is to grow and sell locally sourced New England native plants from seeds sustainably collected by staff and trained volunteers.
The best thing about volunteering at Nasami Farm is the opportunity to learn. As you work along side staff members and other volunteers. You can learn about how seeds are collected, stored, propagated and grown on. There are also opportunities to work in the garden beds around the farm that display native plants. Many of the volunteers are avid native plant collectors and gardeners who are happy to share information about how native plants perform in their gardens or what plants are easy or hard to grow. Some of the volunteers have been coming to Nasami for years so they know a thing or two. Managers Kate Pawling and Cayte McDonough always have time to answer questions and share information about planting and taking care of native species.
Becoming a volunteer at Nasami is rewarding and addicting! If plants and gardening are something you like to share with others, and if you like hands-on work in the company of friendly fellow gardeners, you should give it a try. Volunteers are currently needed to help with plants in the greenhouses and to manage the native plantings and gardens around the farm. Responsibilities might include (but are not limited to) planting, pruning, or grooming plants; cleaning and sowing seed; and raking, mulching and other chores around the farm or in the office.
For more information contact Kate Pawling:
Propagator and Operations Manager
Nasami Farm Native Plant Nursery
128 North Street, Whately, MA 01373