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Volunteer FAQ

What is America’s Grow-a-Row? America’s Grow-a-Row is a 501(c)3 organization that grows and gleans fresh, healthy produce that is then donated to food pantries, soup kitchens, crisis centers, and food banks. We are dedicated to donating 100% of the produce grown at our Clinton, NJ area farms. The majority of our produce goes to large food banks like the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, City Harvest, and Philabundance. Since we began in 2002, we have donated over 7.7 million pounds of produce!

How do you get funding? We receive all funding through private, corporate, and individual grants and donations. Groups have the option to sponsor their team building day in the field by making a donation. We encourage corporate volunteers to check if their company has a Dollars 4 Doers program or matching grants. You may also spark up some friendly competition and participate in a Pennies 4 Produce fundraiser.

How do we schedule our trip? Fill out the group volunteer form found on our website’s volunteer page. Please contact Connie Miller, Volunteer and Programming Associate, at connie@americasgrowarow.org with any questions you may have.

What does a volunteer outing look like? Most events take place from 9am-12pm on weekdays with limited availability on weekends and evenings. First, we educate our volunteers about hunger in NJ and how they can help so they truly understand the impact they will make that day! Then, it’s time to volunteer – you might be planting, harvesting, or gleaning (rescuing excess produce), depending on when you schedule your event. No prior experience is necessary.

How many people can I bring? We request a minimum of 5-10 and have had groups of over 200 volunteers out for harvesting. ***We understand that last minute conflicts may come up, but please keep us informed about your group size. We use your expected group size to plan what we will plant or harvest during your visit, which in turn impacts our plans for the week. We work hard to ensure no food goes to waste, so a close estimate of group size is very important for us to predict how much can be planted/harvested in a certain time frame.

Where do we go for our event? Most of our events take place at our Clinton, NJ area farms (two farms less than 15 minutes apart in Pittstown and Milford). Due to the seasonal nature of agriculture, we will let you know which location you will be at very close to your day in the fields according to which crops are mature and field conditions. We sometimes have a pressing need to harvest a particular crop and may ask you to change your location. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding of the challenges of agriculture. From September through November we also glean apples in Chester (Riamede Farm) and Hope (Longmeadow Farms) these two gleaning locations are firm and will not change upon scheduling, only our Clinton, NJ farm locations are subject to change.

What produce will we plant or harvest? We may not know until the day of your event as it depends on the season, weather, crop maturity, and what groups before you accomplished. The range of possibilities are corn, string beans, tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, peppers, apples, pears, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, leafy greens, squash, and more!

Where does the food go? We harvest over 1.3 million pounds of produce each growing season. The majority of the produce goes to food banks that serve the state of New Jersey, New York City, and Philadelphia. We also have Free Farmers Markets in Newark, Jersey City, Camden, the Lehigh Valley, Philadelphia, and other cities.

What should we bring? Dress for the weather and to get dirty. Sturdy closed toed shoes are required. We recommend that you also bring the following: sunscreen, bug spray, hats, work gloves, and filled reusable water bottles. We will supply any tools that you will need.

What about the weather? We work rain or shine and only cancel for thunderstorms and other severe weather. We keep in touch as the date of your event approaches to give you notice in the event of a weather related change. We do not book rain dates, but we can always try to reschedule for later in the season.

What do you have on site?

AGAR Farm, 150 Pittstown Road, Pittstown, NJ: We have picnic tables for 75 – 100 under the overhang and in the barn and can set up tables to accommodate 200+ under a tent in the grass with advanced notice. There are three camping grills, a fire pit, and optional lawn games. We also have two port-a-johns and a handwashing station. We provide coolers filled with water.

AGAR Farm, 401 Woolf Road, Milford, NJ: We have picnic tables for about 50, two port-a-johns, and one handwashing station. We provide coolers filled with water. There is no physical structure on site.

Riamede Farm, 122 Oakdale Road, Chester, NJ: There are no picnic tables, but with advance notice you can tailgate. There are four port-a-johns. Riamede also sells apples, tomatoes, sauces, and more.

Longmeadow Farms, 521 Hope Blairstown Road, Hope, NJ: There are no picnic tables but you can tailgate. There are two port-a-johns. Longmeadow also sells apples, squash, raspberries, sauces, and more.

Will my group be in the field alone? Depending on group size and the tasks that need to be accomplished, your group may be paired with another team to get the job done. Some teams enjoy coming together with other teams and accomplishing a common goal, feeling a true sense of community. Others prefer to use their day as a team building day and prefer to have their group keep to itself. We welcome both approaches and like having diverse groups out in the field. However, out of respect for the thousands of individuals, companies, and organizations that support America’s Grow-a-Row, we request that there be no soliciting or proselytizing of volunteers, employees, or supporters at, on or off the field events or otherwise.

Can we have food or a meeting on site? Yes and yes! We have picnic tables at our Pittstown and Milford locations for eating or meeting, and you are welcome to bring food to the other farms as well. We recommend morning groups bring breakfast to give your volunteers the energy needed for the day! See below for local recommendations for breakfast or lunch. Some will deliver or you can send someone to pick it up. Just let us know if you will come early or stay late after harvesting.

Is this event free? Yes, it is absolutely free to volunteer with AGAR. However, we are a 501(c)3, and are always happy to accept individual donations and corporate sponsorships. Please check with your business or organization if they have a budget for donations, a foundation, or Dollars for Doers type program that might be able to provide us with financial support for your hours in the fields! We encourage you support our Pennies 4 Produce program, collecting spare change in the office, classroom, on the field and more. Thank you!

Local Food Venues by Farm

Pick up food to bring to your event! Delivery available at select locations.

Pittstown or Milford/Alexandria Township Farm   ‎

  • Clinton Bagel Company  * 38 Route 173 Clinton, NJ 08809 * (908) 735 -9800
  • Frank’s Italian Restaurant‎ * 67 Wal-Mart Plaza, Clinton, NJ 08809 * (908) 735-9293 (pizza, subs, salads, and more) Mention AGAR!  www.frankspizzaofclinton.com
  • You are welcome to use our charcoal camping grills on the Pittstown property! (Bring your own charcoal, lighter fluid, lighter, and grilling utensils please!)
  • Have a wine tasting after at Beneduce Vineyards (7 minutes away) 1 Jeremiah Lane, Pittstown, NJ 08867 – Call ahead and let them know you volunteered!  (908) 996-3823
  • Feel free to order a catered lunch from the closest Whole Foods Market to you and bring it to the farm for lunch!
  • Chick-fil-A Flemington offers free delivery for minimum orders of $125.
  • Just Chill Frozen Desserts & Creperie, 47 Main St, Clinton, NJ 08809, (908) 963-3491

Longmeadow Farm, Hope/Blairstown

  • Mediterranean Diner * 484 Blairstown Road, Blairstown, NJ* 908-459-0418  (pizza, sandwiches & more)
  • Hope Market Deli * Cedar Street and Route 521 Hope, NJ * 908-459-4800 (breakfast and lunch)

Riamede Farm, Chester

  • Sub Pub  * 127 Main Street, Chester, NJ 07930 * (908) 879-5334 ‎
  • Chester Bagel & Deli  * 17 West Main Street, Chester, NJ 07930 * (908) 879-1155
  • Roman Pizza  * 81 West Main Street, Chester, NJ 07930 * (908) 879-9228 ‎