Ready to get your hands dirty? 

Whether you want to help your community, learn more about growing food, or just want to get your hands in the soil, Growing Power offers opportunities for individuals and groups to get in touch with the land.  Many different types of volunteer opportunities exist, from farming to graphic design.  If you have a skill that you think might be useful, please speak up and we’ll put you to work.

Service Learning:
In Milwaukee and Chicago, we can accommodate service-learning students to help youth complete their community service commitment.  Fantastic students we currently work with our teens from Marshall High School in Milwaukee and college students from Columbia College in Chicago.

Please Note:
Do not bring personal items with you to the farm. We do not have storage on site for personal items, and will not take responsibility for your belongings. If you bring personal belongings, such as phones, wallets, mp3 players, etc., you do so at your own risk. 

In Milwaukee:
Volunteer orientation is held on every Saturday at 10:00am at the urban farm EXCEPT during the weekend workshops, listed below. Orientation takes about 30 minutes and you can stay and start working right away or come back another time. Once orientated, you can volunteer anytime. All volunteers must be 18 years or older to volunteer on the farm.

After completing an orientation, volunteers are welcome Monday through Sunday, 9am to 4pm, except during workshops.

2014 Weekend Workshop Schedule :
January 18th - 19th
February 15th - 16th
March 22nd - 23rd
April 26th - 27th
May 17th - 18th
June 21st - 22nd

**There will also be no volunteer orientation on December 28th and January4th, 2014 due to the holidays

In Chicago:

Come visit Iron Street Urban Farm to help us build a 7-acre farm in an industrial building in the middle of Chicago! Work may include moving woodchips or compost, sifting worm castings, tending crops, building mushroom chandeliers, and general maintenance. Volunteers are welcome during the following dates and times:
Tuesdays: 1-4pm
Thursdays: 1-4pm
Saturdays 10am-4pm

For your first time volunteering at Iron Street, please arrive at 1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays or 10am on Saturdays for volunteer orientation. Even if you have volunteered at other Growing Power farms, you are still required to attend orientation at Iron Street. After you have attended orientation, you are free to arrive whenever you want and stay as long as you'd like during volunteer hours. Please bring a water bottle and dress for the weather. Even in winter, you may be working outdoors. We also recommend bringing a friend or two!

Please email erica.hougland@growingpower.org to schedule groups of 10 or more. 

Volunteer opportunities at Chicago Lights Urban Farm begin again in the spring.

Saturdays at the Chicago Lights Urban Farm from March through November.

All volunteers must attend an orientation starting at 10:00am. The farm is located at the intersection of Chicago Avenue and Hudson Street (3 blocks east of Halstead). The site is accessible by Brown and Purple line trains at the Chicago and Franklin stop and by Red line train at the Chicago stop. Please do not bring personal items with you to the farm.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where do we meet and how early should I get to the farm?
Volunteers should meet at the scheduled location.  All individuals/groups should arrive on site at or before their scheduled time.  Please come on time as we begin our program promptly and need to start working.  At arrival, we will have your group sign our volunteer ledger and put on nametags.  Then we will tell you briefly about the project and divide up, if needed, to begin the day’s tasks.  

What is the work like?

Farming is hard work.  Depending on the season, you may be preparing beds, shifting compost, planting, harvesting, tending vegetables or cleaning up the land.  We work rain or shine so please come prepared for the weather. Expect to get your hands and clothes dirty by the end of day.


What do I need to bring?

Þ    A water bottle;

Þ    sunscreen;

Þ    a hat;

Þ    work gloves (if you want them); and

Þ    rain gear (depending on weather).


We will supply all the tools you will need to work. If you have a medical condition such as asthma or anaphylaxis, please bring your inhaler or epipen and tell your group leader of your condition before working in the field.


What do I wear when working on the land?

Long pants and shirt are recommended for farm work. Close-toed shoes are required because you may be working with sharp tools. Keep in mind that you will get dirty and be prepared for warm, cold, or wet weather. Bring extra layers and rain gear so that you are comfortable working in most weather conditions. A box of garbage bags is a good item to bring in case people in your group don’t bring rain gear.


Do we still work when it rains?

Yes, we work when it rains. The grower will tell staff and group leaders to stop working when weather conditions are not conducive for fieldwork.


What about lunch and water?

Please feel free to bring a picnic lunch.  You should bring enough water to get you through your work commitment.


Thank you to the numerous volunteers who help Growing Power accomplish our work.  We couldn’t do it with out your support!



Milwaukee Headquarters:  5500 W. Silver Spring Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53218

Tel. 414.527.1546 / Fax 414.527.1908

Chicago Projects Office:  3333 S. Iron Street, Chicago, IL 6068

Tel. 773.376.8882