A Day in the Life
GRG’s growing season is from April to December, but the majority of the hard work starts in February to prepare the fields and the infrastructure.
GRG is mainly known for its vegetable produce, which includes sweet potatoes, peppers, spinach, celery, broccoli, and carrots, among others. It also produces some fruit, pastured, grass fed chickens, and honey from its own bee colonies.
The typical week during growing season consists of selling days on Wednesday and Saturday, picking days on Tuesday and Friday, and working days — covering a diverse set of tasks — on Mondays and Thursdays.
The typical work day starts at about 8 a.m., when Pall and Walker prepare the farm for the volunteers. Together, the crew will pick and wash the produce in the morning while it is cool.
Around 1 p.m., Pall and Walker prepare a meal for the group, staying inside while the sun is at its peak. Once it cools down, around 3 p.m., they go back outside, where a new shift of volunteers will come, usually community members who have just left work.
Evening work can include a variety of projects, such as transplanting produce, tending to the fields, or maintaining infrastructure.
Despite having 50 acres of land to work with, only a few acres are suitable for their vegetable gardens because the rest of the land is not flat. They use an intensive, high-yield mulching system to account for the smaller plot, but they plan to use the land more efficiently in the future.
Pall aims to use the hills for chicken raising and growing perennial fruits. In addition, Pall said they are acquiring a neighboring property from community partners that they will be able to use for more vegetable gardens.
With plans to expand size and production, Pall hopes to have more than just volunteer help in the future.
“We are interested in hiring some regular workers who are interested in sticking around for a bit and learning about our sustainable growing system,” Pall said. “Our system can be replicated on a smaller scale.”
Pall is excited about the GRG’s future. He described the best parts of the business as setting his own hours, working outside and hearing positive feedback from customers.
Walker, however, emphasized being the “master of your own destiny."
"Working for (others), you can only be as high as the system," she said. "Here, we are the system and we can expand higher.”