Willing Hands and Cedar Circle Farm

Willing Hands is a hunger relief and food recovery organization located in Norwich, VT. They recover fresh food from farms, grocery stores, restaurants and wholesalers, and deliver it year-round, for free, to 80 social service organizations across the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire.

Willing Hands and Cedar Circle Farm have been partners for so long that no one can remember the exact year it began. In the beginning, the Willing Hands Garden at Cedar Circle Farm was a small plot out behind the blueberry patch. Over the years it has grown to just under 2 acres and is overseen by Shawn Grenier, the Garden Coordinator and a crew of dedicated Willing Hands volunteers and volunteer coordinators.

Since 2019 the garden has been transitioned to a no-till permanent bed system. This regenerative agriculture practice is people-powered as volunteers assist to plant, weed, and harvest all by hand.

In the last seven years the garden has produced over 130,000 pounds of organic vegetables for our neighbors in need.

A Word from Shawn

This has been a good season, but not a great one. We have had a few challenges to overcome. We seem to be battling more pest pressure than ever before farm wide. The Willing Hand Garden lost 3 (300’) rows of Brassicas to flea beetles and our potato crop was almost completely defoliated by Colorado Potato Beetles.

I am blessed to be working with Mikey Van Siclen this year. He was hired this season by Willing Hands to be their resident farmer. Mikey tends to several growing plots for Willing Hands. He has been a great help keeping the Garden moving in the right direction this season.

I am so thankful for the contributions of all our volunteers! As the day light wains and the season winds down the harvest continues to come in and we are still planting some short length crops into late summer like lettuce, spinach, radishes and beets. All in all the season is good, we continue on the mission to provide healthy first quality organic food to our neighbors in need!

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